Five Things to Keep in Mind When Trying to Get Fit

There’s a lot of noise and confusion in the health and fitness industry, and it can be hard to know what to believe and what to focus on. Sketchy, narrowly-researched studies grab headlines and make a big splash on social media newsfeeds . . . and then are often debunked shortly after without much media attention. New workout fads become a craze for a short time, and supplement companies spend tons of money advertising why you need to use their product (while most of the time lacking much scientific evidence to back up their claims).

So what should you believe and not believe? To fully dissect that question would be a novel probably best left for another post or day. But for now, here are five things that I think are part of any foundation for fitness success. Keep these in mind while you battle to get or stay fit.

  1. It’s More Mental Than Physical – Often, what is going on inside your head and the things you are telling yourself have a lot more to do with your fitness than the number of push-ups and sit-ups you’re doing. And fitness is a lot more attainable when you view being active as fun rather than a chore.
  2. Small Steps – We tend to get caught up in big, splashy changes or programs. But the reality is it’s often the small changes we make that are the most effective at making a big difference. Small changes are manageable, doable and, if you’re patient, they add up.
  3. It’s About Function – Our society tends to place more value on how things look rather than how well they function. Health and fitness isn’t about looking good in a bathing suit or a selfie. It’s about what you can DO. 
  4. Deal With Setbacks – One thing is certain: There WILL be setbacks. Don’t let them sabotage you. Approach fitness kind of like a video game. When you try to beat a video game, you fail just about every time. “Game Over.” Only, it’s really not “Game Over.” You start again, and maybe get a little bit farther before failing again. And then next time maybe a little farther. Keep at it, and you’ll eventually conquer the game.
  5. Challenge Yourself – You are capable of more than you think. Challenge yourself to commit to something that you’re not sure you can do, and maybe that scares you a little.