One thing I’ve learned working as a Personal Trainer in the fitness industry, is that fitness is much more mental than it is physical. As a college student studying Kinesiology & Fitness, I can recall taking only a few courses in psychology. A majority of my courses were on exercise prescription, body mechanics, working out (which was fun) and how to train a client. These courses were great, they gave me a good understanding on how to exercise properly and effectively, they also gave me a better understanding of the human body. On the other hand, none of these courses mean a thing if the person you are trying to help doesn’t even show up to work out in the first place. Bringing me back to my first statement, fitness is more mental than physical.
There is so much information out there in the world. Information on nutrition, on what foods we should and shouldn’t eat, information on new workouts that will melt the fat off in 12 days, ha, and even the next fitness fad that will make you look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club. All of this information is flooding the minds of people who are thinking about starting to live a fitness lifestyle, when in reality the more important aspect is to “just go” rather than make excuses or wait for the next fitness magic pill.
Its simple “just go,” in my terms, means to just walk into the gym and start moving, whether its on a bike or easy to use guided weight machine. Just go outside and walk or jog for 45 minutes to break a sweat, burn calories and feel good. Move your body, its that simple, create a habit where not moving your body feels wrong, almost as if your breaking the rules. Just go for a hike, swim, or pick up game of ball with your friends. The list of exercises can go on forever, the important thing is to “just go” and to be as consistent and frequent about it as possible, train your mind and your body will follow. This means most days of the week, every week, for the rest of your lives. This is not overwhelming, its a lifestyle.
Quite often I see either a client or member in my gym, workout for 2-3 months straight, then stop for 2-3 months or even longer (if you are reading this and you thought of yourself, then you need to “just go”). In the beginning of my career this was mind-boggling to me, now I am accustomed to it. Most of the time when I talk to these people, even they themselves don’t have a clear answer why they stopped working out for 2-3 months or longer. They usually come up with 10-15 excuses why they haven’t been working out, but as you know, that is not going to get you results or a fit lifestyle. You have to start now and just go, stop making excuses and override the voice in the back of your head telling you otherwise.
I understand people have different motivations, whether it’s health, money, looking good for someone else or feeling good for yourself, this list of motivations is extensive. Whatever your motivations may be, keep them implanted in your head and use them to stay consistent with exercise or going to the gym. Visualize how you want your body to look inside and out, and understand you cannot get the body or health you want without exercising. If fitness is not one of your main priorities, you need to make it one of your main priorities. It should be just as important as brushing your teeth, give your body the attention it deserves.
I see potential in almost everyone to do better for themselves when it comes to fitness. What I don’t see is sympathy. I have no sympathy for obese or out of shape individuals who don’t exercise frequently or consistently. Fitness is not that hard, im confident that if you remove the road-block in your mind you will begin to find positive gains in your health and wellness goals. Its not confusing or overwhelming. It’s not time consuming or a burden on your schedule, its your body, treat it with concern and respect. Fitness is a lifestyle, and before you make any more excuses or let another week go by without exercising 4-5 times a week, remember to “just go”, because just going is better than not going at all.
Jeff Mendoza, B.S.