At your level of fitness, you likely already know how powerful the mind is when it comes to keeping physically active. Try the following quick “mental workouts” to really get the most out of your strongest muscle!
Keep motivated by knowing how to overcome self-defeating thoughts like “I’m too tired to work out,” or “I have no time.” Imagine yourself confronting your most difficult activity challenges--from waking up early to leaving class or work on time to working through fatigue. If you hear yourself think, "I don't feel like it" or, "this isn't my day," ignore those thoughts, lace up those shoes and get to your workout. The confidence and pride that comes with overcoming a challenge is huge! Think about how much you love these positive feelings, not to mention the satisfaction and feeling of well-being that comes from having a good workout. You’ll be better prepared to overcome negative thinking next time when you know you’ve done it before.
Completing an activity challenge in your mind can help you complete it confidently in reality. Before you work out, imagine yourself getting to the track or the gym even before you’ve laced up your shoes.
Try to imagine the feelings you experience as you start, peak and then finish your planned workout. Fast-forward to the locker room, when you feel tired but satisfied.
When you work out in real life, it will seem easier because you’ve already mentally completed the challenge.
Once a week, try visualizing a tougher workout –10 more minutes on the treadmill, another mile on your run, more reps with your free weights – as you move toward your anticipated goal, whether it's a 20-mile jog or stronger calf muscles. Imagine both the good and the bad feelings: the fatigue and discomfort as well as the confidence boost and pride that come from completing a challenging workout. Then imagine yourself accepting the challenges that come with working towards a goal. Your mental confidence will help you get through your next workout – even if it’s more difficult than you expected – to reach your goal with pride.