A fallacy is being perpetuated that attainable health and fitness is complicated, impossible, frustrating, or just plain out of one’s reach. Individuals are often conditioned to believe that health and fitness require an all-or-nothing approach. You are either super fit or sedentary. Period! You were either born with perfect genes, or you’re jinxed. You either dedicate all your energies to improving your health, or you enthusiastically pursue your career. The notion is portrayed as an either-or principle.

Is it any wonder that most feel helpless or discouraged when embarking on their health journeys? They start in a backward fashion, envisioning only a list of hurdles that await them down the track. Their expectations are low, and failure seems much more probable than success. No wonder disempowerment, discouragement, abandonment, and resignation are rampant with potential health enthusiasts.

Enough! Discover what attainable health and fitness can truly embody by shifting your vantage point from an all-or-nothing approach to a more incremental and adaptable strategy. Below are three key components to be reviewed as you embark on your health and fitness journey.

Fun

Unfortunately, the fun factor seems to have been forgotten when creating a health and fitness plan. Energy is often wasted on battling preconceived notions of how hard and arduous the endeavor might be.

First, look for existing strengths and build on those to generate triumphs and helpful associations. Foster opportunities for enjoyment by creating fun fitness environments. Specific strategies can involve choosing a workout buddy you feel is infectiously energetic and positive, signing up for a group fitness activity that will allow you to socialize while exercising, or offer to babysit a child or dog that are guaranteed to keep you moving and active.

Get back to the basics and discover the fun factor in health and fitness. This seemingly simplistic approach allows individuals to rediscover what engages and motivates them at the core. By enjoying the process and creating fun situations, healthy hopefuls are moving toward their goals with reduced effort. Let your imagination and childlike curiosity steer you to try new activities.

There are a multitude of fun exercise options that are waiting to be discovered. Being open can help you discover those untraditional physical possibilities. For example, have you considered getting on a full-size trampoline? Or how about creating an obstacle course you can do with the kids while playing at the park? Get creative! Permanent and positive changes are more easily created and perpetuated by discovering what works best for you. If the thought of going to a gym triggers anxiety, then continue exploring other possible scenarios that will generate fun feelings.

Be a kid again! Forget limiting beliefs and tackle challenges with your imagination, optimism, and enthusiasm. Fundamentally, there is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all remedy. Enjoy discovering the vast opportunities for fun!

Flexibility

Since the frenetic pace of life has everyone training as an athlete competing in the human race, best to take a moment to touch on time. Your schedule is already filled with important tasks, and adding another item can sometimes overwhelm even the most levelheaded individual. Proper time management can alleviate some of the pressure, but even then, life has a funny way of sending surprises our way. Best to stay adaptable and flexible by having some plan Bs in place for those key chaotic moments. If you are bringing your children to a soccer practice, can you walk around the perimeter of the field while they play? Or is there an activity you can sign up for at the same sport facility that coincides with theirs? Are there any other parents that may be interested in creating a fit parent group while your kids play? Have you asked?

Another practical tactic is to increase incrementally your steps during the course of a day by wearing a pedometer. It may sound silly, but walking over to your colleague’s desk rather than zipping him or her an e-mail will add considerable steps to your day. Use what you’ve got around you, and that can be as simple as extra trips up and down your stairs at home. Yes, it can really be that easy while also being effective. Keep adding practical and flexible fitness routines here and there throughout your day, and they will quickly add up.

Focus

State your goals and build your focus like every other powerful muscle in your body. Never underestimate the power of the mind in whatever project you undertake. Consistent focus and action will keep you moving in a direction that will lead you to your objective. Infuse focus into your workouts and action plans, and let it fuel your drive to succeed. Ensure that the intensity of your workouts requires that you stretch yourself slightly beyond your current comfort zone. For example, while weight training, visualize the muscle shortening and working hard, rather than just mechanically lifting without much thought. Regard your body as a fine-tuned machine that is operating at an optimal level. It is on its way to serious improvements in performance and positive results.

The following are suggestions that you can take and customize to your style to maximize focus: affirmations, declarations, visualizations, and inspirational quotes. All or some may be beneficial regularly, or they may come in handy on those days when you feel you need to refocus more intensely.

Simply put, it’s not a click or a switch that causes people to improve their lives, but rather an ongoing shift in gaining continued momentum in a positive direction on the health and fitness spectrum. Certain individuals who have transformed their bodies and lives may speak of one event in particular that triggered their quests for health. However, those who are successfully maintaining those changes year after year often highlight that constant action is key. These individuals know that over time, the intensity of action required will reduce significantly. Health and fitness strategies increasingly become habitual, rather than laborious.

Individuals are encouraged to identify their starting point and recognize where they began their health and fitness journey. More importantly, “change challengers” fix their sights on where they are headed. As motivational speaker Denis Waitley states, “Winners dwell on the rewards of success!” What will assist you in winning? What elements of health and fitness can provide you with the feelings of excitement, passion, and curiosity?

The preceding paragraphs have explored three pillars that have proven to be of tremendous value for those looking for great ways to improve their health. Rather than recycle through another fad diet or trend, these tools will incite permanent and positive changes. Start your journey with confidence, and build your healthy foundation with fun, flexibility, and focus!

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health”, visit http://selfgrowth.com/healthbook3.html

Author's Bio: 

Danielle Cardinal leads the team at FitFleet Fitness, a mobile personal training outfit based in Ottawa, Canada. This dynamo is a self-confessed nutrition nut, exercise enthusiast, and boundary buster. Danielle graduated with honors in 2000 from the Human Kinetics program at the University of Ottawa. Her passion surrounding the enormous potential of the human body and mind encourages her to pursue additional studies. She has explored the following fields: Massage Therapy (Algonquin College), Personal Training (Can-Fit-Pro), Personal Development (Peak Potentials), Nutrition (Precision Nutrition), Wellness (Advivum) and Motivation (Power Within). These acquired abilities and invaluable skills have kept her flexible and eclectic in her approach for improved health. Her continued interest in providing her customers with strategies for attainable health and fitness have fueled and inspired projects such as the Big Audacious Goal Body Challenge, “Outside the Box” Outings, and corporate health initiatives. Danielle enthusiastically invites your feedback at dc@fitfleetfitness.ca.