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Yearly archives "2017"

3 Articles

Cutting Down On Unhealthy Stress

Stress and anxiety can be huge barriers to overcome when you’re trying to improve your fitness and your overall health. It’s vital that you tackle this head on if you feel that it’s getting you down.

Your body’s proper functionality is hindered when you’re stressed, which means you will probably struggle a lot more with sticking to a routine and making positive progress. Issues can include any of the following, and more…

  1. Feeling tired and low on energy
  2. Increased cravings for food and drink you shouldn’t be having too much of
  3. Distraction from what should be your main priorities
  4. Reduced immune system functionality
  5. An unhelpful cycle of stress leading to more stress

What many people fail to consider is the scientific process behind the stress we all feel on a daily basis. Stress is a function that has evolved in humans to help us deal with dangerous situations. It’s intended to help us forget about things that normally concern us and concentrate on getting to “safety”, which is why we usually feel the urge to get away from everything and tune out. Watching TV, browsing online, grazing on junk food… these are all things we do because we want to escape a perceived threat.

Unfortunately, when the threat is mainly psychological (like it is for people who suffer with confidence issues and anxiety), our body’s natural response is confused and doesn’t directly help. In fact, it’s often the worst possible solution because it does nothing to help us escape the cycle. When we waste time trying to de-stress, we’re creating more guilt internally. Real relaxation only works if you’re genuinely clearing your mind and removing unhealthy influences.

Sources of stress and anxiety can be very wide-ranging, but just a few common examples include…

  • Worrying about what your body looks like.
  • Repressing your feelings and ignoring them.
  • Trying to prioritise what other people want.
  • Internally talking yourself down.
  • Acting differently because you’re afraid to be yourself.
  • Refusing to be open with anyone.
  • Comparing yourself to other people.
  • Procrastinating instead of dealing with things.
  • Taking too long to make decisions due to fear.
  • Feeling guilty about your actions.

The list can go on and on, so you may not realise until you seriously think about your own life how many separate sources of stress you actually have. If you want to make progress towards a happy and healthy life, you need to start by cutting down on the stressful and negative influences that are currently blocking you from fulfilling your potential.

How To Channel Your Inspiration Into Fitness

Lack of motivation or inspiration is a huge problem for many people who would rather work harder on their physical fitness but can’t bring themselves to get started. It can be hard for a lot of us to get really impassioned about going to the gym or working on our exercise routines, and even if we are struck with sudden inspiration from time to time, channelling that into an effective fitness regime can be just as difficult.

For example, maybe if you read your favourite fitness blog or watch some videos, you might hear about how easy it was for someone else to make seemingly small changes in their life and see a big difference as a result. This is what we all want to hear, and knowing that it’s possible might temporarily give you a major boost. However, for many of us, reality soon comes crashing back and we fail to make the small steps we need to get started.

Distractions are also a big issue – if you were easily swayed with the idea of improving your fitness in the first place, you might have trouble avoiding the next thing that comes along. Your exercise routine might get old quickly, providing an opportunity for the next fun, new thing to come along. When something requires a lot of commitment, a short attention span is only natural.

Resolving to make a major change in your life, and sticking to it, is much more difficult. This is something a lot of us talk about, and value highly, but rarely embody. The chances are you just need to take specific steps to get a firm grasp on your potential and turn your thoughts into actions.

  • Break free of any preconceived notions of what kind of person you think you are and whether or not you expect to fail. Your past experiences are not a rule that will always hold.
  • Stay focused on your next step and see where each one takes you, instead of looking too far ahead to an end goal which seems too far to reach. You may not want to end up there anyway.
  • Focus on your talents and do more things that help you feel positive about your own abilities.
  • At the same time, just be careful not to multi-task to the point of distraction. Only spend your energy on endeavours that are not a waste of time.
  • Work on your self-control above all. If you discipline yourself effectively, you will be able to achieve anything you want in the long run.

Ideas For Fitness Training As A Couple

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a thought – if you’re in a relationship, did either if you (or perhaps both) claim you were going to improve your fitness this year? If yes, how are you doing so far? Perhaps you’re feeling a little disheartened, so perhaps training together could be a good idea.

To begin with, let’s point out something not all articles on this matter will mention. Training together as a couple is by no means a good solution for everyone. For some people, it’s just not an option, and could potentially be something you both regret.

The major issue that tends to arise is when both people are not on the same fitness level and it becomes clear who is doing the best. Competition is not always healthy! One person may also be too controlling over what you’re both supposed to be doing.

However, if you have already established a good level of trust and you are comfortable with each other, arranging some time to work out together could be really beneficial for both of you. Social support is a hugely important element when it comes to succeeding at exercise. If you can work together on your fitness, you may be able to really enjoy the highs together and support each other during the lows.

Here are a few ideas of specific things you can do if you’re thinking about giving this strategy a try with your partner…

  • Consider sharing a professional, qualified trainer to help you come up with an appropriate workout routine and advise you on how you can support each other.
  • Try swimming, water sports or other kinds of pool-based fitness classes at your local gym. For many people this is more enjoyable and effective when you’re not alone.
  • Try creating your own unique circuit that you can complete at the same time, including different exercises, weights and so on.
  • Go to the same place together, but don’t do the same activities to avoid directly competing. Support each other constructively without risking conflict.