The idea of exercising to keep fit, lose weight and build up your muscle tone is something that many people aspire towards. It is not necessarily the exercise itself which is challenging but the mental strength needed to keep going and the focus required to get there. We will now look at some simple techniques to increase your mental strength and focus which will give you more “headroom” to concentrate on exercise.
When we talk of mental strength we are not talking about aggression and physical strength, we are talking about the ability to compartmentalise your life so that when you are exercising you are focusing on that and nothing else. If your mind wanders, your focus drifts then it can be difficult to push yourself when exercising. Even if you put aside one hour a day to exercise and take yourself to the “zone” during that time you will very quickly reap the rewards and feel the benefits.
The idea that mental strength is linked to aggression and physical strength is simply wrong. In theory mental strength is finding the ability to push through the pain barrier, to alleviate boredom and strive towards your cause. Everybody has “strong mental strength” when they start their exercise regime but after a while your natural interest wanes and this is when you need to regain your focus.
If we take a step back from exercise for a moment, if you’re doing any activity or work how can you remain focused if you have nothing to focus upon? Sound bizarre? Well, when you start your exercise regime you should have a long-term goal whether this is to lose a certain amount of weight, increase your muscle tone on reduce your BMI. Whatever the goal, this should be retained throughout your exercise process but the key to reaching your end goal is to set yourself short-term targets.
If you simply see your exercise aspirations as going from A to B you will at some point lose focus and fall by the wayside. Improving your health and becoming more accustomed to regular exercise does not happen overnight and there will be days when you must push yourself, and days when you are more motivated. However, setting short-term goals will eventually lead to your long-term target.
If for example you are looking to lose say three stones in weight there is no point focusing everything on losing three stones because that will be some way down the line and you will lose your focus. Try setting yourself a short-term goal of say losing half a stone. The key here is that not only have you begun your journey and you are starting to see results but the feelgood factor associated with hitting your first target will help you to hit your second target and so on. Once you reach your first target, maybe it is time to focus more on your muscle tone as well as more weight loss.
Those who begin exercise at the gym without a target and no focus will find it extremely difficult. Whether exercising on your own or with friends and family it can become monotonous and “boring”. Think of this, if you have no target then how do you know when you have achieved your goal? If you don’t have a destination in mind how can you plan your journey?
While the physical element of exercise, losing weight and building your muscle tone cannot be underestimated, you will also need to find some “mental strength”. Short-term targets and the feelgood factor associated with hitting them together with long-term targets will keep you focused. In theory it sounds difficult to improve your mental strength and retain your focus but in practice, if you take just short steps and focus on these, you can achieve your long-term goal and feel proud of yourself.