How many times have you started a workout routine or program to get ready for an event? Maybe a beach trip, a wedding or even a class reunion. You wanted to make sure you looked your best for that event, but what happens when the event is over? Most people stop their routine or their program. They take a “break” from working out because they worked so hard, they deserve a break right? Then a few months later they are back to feeling out of shape and needing to get back right for the next event. It’s a never ending cycle that only gets harder to see results from the more we jump on and off the rollercoaster and I hate to say it… the older we get!
My goal as a personal trainer is to change people’s mindset when it comes to working out. I want take “Fitness” from something that is trendy or something you do to get ready for an event to something that is a habit and a way of life. So here’s how I suggest you make that happen.
First off, realize that working out is MORE than about how you look! It’s not about fitting in an outfit or a wedding dress, it’s not about wowing your classmates at a reunion and it’s not about having the rocking body you see from the “Instagram models”. While those are all benefits that can come from working out – they shouldn’t be the main driver and motivator. Working out has 3 “hidden” benefits, things we don’t necessarily think about and let drive us.
American College of Sports Medicine states that working out has the following INTERNAL physical benefits; Lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and Alzheimer’s, several types of cancer, and some complications of pregnancy, Improved cognition, including memory, attention and processing speed, better bone health and balance, with less risk of injury from falls and Better quality of life.
Working out builds confidence. Fitness is one of the easiest avenues in life where you set a goal and as long as you work towards it (even a little) there is NO way you will not hit that goal. Want to do 10 push ups on your toes? Practice push ups and over time you WILL be able to do push-ups on your toes. Want to run a 5k and you’ve never run before? Practice running and you’ll be able to run a 5k! It’s impossible to NOT reach your goal, thus building confidence every time you hit a goal.
Most importantly in young women, exercise has a positive effect with depression and anxiety. Harvard University and the Mayo clinic have both released studies that show that exercise works better for some individuals than prescription medication. Exercise releases feel good hormones that help boost ones mood, growth hormones that help increase neurotransmitter pathways and simply gives one the opportunity to take your mind off things.
Second you need find something that keeps you engaged. The suggestion I always give is to find a community to be a part of. Find a place that notices if you miss a workout, people know your name and a place you look forward to going to on a daily/weekly basis. Jumping around from workout program to workout program can be fun and help keep your interested for a while but when push comes to shove, you haven’t developed roots that will help keep you accountable when the short term motivation wears off.
So it all comes down to changing our mindset that fitness isn’t about the way we look. It’s so much more than that. When we can create a habit and integrate a workout routine into our everyday life, there are so many more benefits that are worth much more.
Liz Laubenberg is a former collegiate track athlete turned NASM personal trainer. She is the Regional Director for Camp Gladiator, and has been training with CG for 8 years. Her passion is personal training in a group setting and truly building connections with people to help them reach their goals!