It is that time of year again where we trade heavy coats for light sweaters. Summer is around the corner and for many of us, fitness is on the brain. I commend your eagerness to shed the winter layers this spring by adopting a new exercise regimen but be mindful that fitness is not one-dimensional. Physical fitness is just one aspect of the wellness wheel and what goes on in your mind and body is equally important. Fitness requires more than physical strength and endurance; it demands mental focus and proper tools such as good nutrition and patience. Because our physical appearance can significantly impact our mental state, it is important to take stock of where we are, currently.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In its honor, I encourage you to assess yours as it relates to your desire to dive into a new exercise program. If you are not certain where to begin, try answering these questions.
- Are you mentally prepared to begin a fitness program? It is important to understand the fitness journey is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be triumphs (weight loss, improved mood, etc.), obstacles (e.g., temptation, breaking old habits) and occasionally, setbacks (e.g., plateaus).
- How much time/effort are you willing to commit to your fitness program? It takes more than intention to succeed. Action is required. Are you willing to make time to set yourself up for success?
As you sit with these questions, be honest with yourself. If you determine that you are all in, consult with your physician before beginning an exercise routine to determine your physical readiness. Do not let it discourage you if you must start slow. Starting is always better than standing still. Here’s to your health!