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  'Fitness Begins in the Mind'

   by Mike Gardner,
 CEO of FIT Concepts, Inc.   
Jan 2001
 

Fitness Begins In Your Mind - By Mike Gardner

Quick! Answer this question: When was the last time you used a piece of exercise equipment in your home? Or how about this one: How long has it been since you lost weight and kept it off for more than a few months? It's a little scary, isn't it? Though you may be in that group of dedicated people who do use their exercise equipment at home or in that group committed to losing weight and keeping it off, one fact is indisputable. Most people don't really know how to succeed when it comes to fitness. And the reason is simple. Physical fitness -- and wellness -- begins in the mind. 

Mike Gardner "...it's not a matter of knowing what to do; it's knowing how to do it."

In 1997, Americans spent over $1.5 billion on treadmills alone. In total, Americans spend $5 billion a year on various pieces of home exercise equipment. Though 32.3 million American households use their exercise equipment regularly, in 17.6 million homes the exercise equipment has become expensive dust collectors. (Source: The Fitness Product Council)
Think About it. We all know what to do -- diet and exercise, right? So what is keeping us from our ultimate goal of health and wellness? How many diets or devices have you bought, only to find a month later, you're off the program because it just didn't work for you. Again, it's not a matter of knowing what to do; it's knowing how to do it. 

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) even cites the treadmill as one of the most effective pieces of equipment for burning calories and conditioning the heart. Most of us have access to a treadmill or we are able to walk outside. With these proven benefits and the simplicity of the machine, then why aren't more of us walking into wellness? The answer -- Motivation. 

I've trained and consulted with some of the biggest names in the fitness and sports arena. The more I teach and the more I learn, one key fact of fitness runs throughout the lives of those who are successful -- no matter what their goals -- Before anyone can achieve physical fitness, he or she must become mentally fit. 

Make no mistake, You need a sound diet and a consistent exercise to achieve physical fitness. But without the mental component, you're out of balance. Without balance, you'll find yourself yo-yo-dieting and yo-yo exercising. You will become very frustrated. Many personal trainers promote all of the benefits from reducing your risk of heart disease, risk of cancer, and other life-threatening diseases. But how often have you heard a fitness guru speak on the subject of mental fitness? Furthermore, we don't have a complete fitness program until we address all three aspects of fitness -- the mental, the physical, and the nutritional. 

Yolanda Hughes Receives First Place Award from Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The subconscious mind cannot distinguish between what is real or not real." 

Ray Buchanan - NFL Pro-Bowler

Focusing on the mental part of the equation, consider this: The subconscious mind cannot distinguish between what is real or not real. So, when you set your physical fitness goal, put it in the form of a simple, positive statement that you can say out loud. Don't use the future tense, such as "...next week I'm going to start walking a mile a day." Rather, frame it as if it has already happened. For example, repeat this statement out loud: "I lost thirty pounds; I eat healthy; and I walk two nights a week for twenty minutes. I feel great!" If you will repeat these positive statements (or ones that you compose) at least three times, twice a day, within one month you will be well on your way to achieving your goal. 
It is really fairly simple. How can you expect to continue to motivate yourself physically if you're not motivating yourself mentally? The answer is: you can't. Paraphrasing for a moment, "if you can conceive it, you can believe it." Mental fitness should be the beginning of your total fitness program. It should include a series of positive affirmations that lead you to your fitness goals.

Whether you find joining a health and fitness club the answer or buying another piece of home fitness equipment, until you being training your mind as hard as you train your body, you can't possibly succeed. Whether you want to lose a few pounds or a hundred or more, unless your mind is directing your action, you can't possibly succeed. No matter what your goal, you can achieve it if you truly believe it!

Studies have shown that the average American will put on ten pounds over the holiday season. It doesn't have to happen. If you will stay focused, practice your mental fitness exercises, and don't allow yourself to stray from your goal, you will achieve it! Just think about how good you'll feel being ten pounds lighter? How are you going to look? Picture yourself. How are your clothes going to fit? It can happen. It will happen, if you'll take the first step and begin training your mind. 


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