What does it mean to create a fitness environment? A beautiful gym? A clean workout area at home with cutting edge equipment? All of those things are cool, but what I am talking about is creating an environment of influences that work for you and not against you and your fitness goals.
Here are a few ways to create an environment that works for you and your exercise routine:
Have fitness friends – Workout partner(s), a group you meet with at a fitness class, a personal trainer, or even some online friends. Having some support and encouragement can have a major effect on reaching your goal.
Read and learn about fitness – Good books, magazines, and websites can provide valuable information about exercise, diet, and more. When you are feeding your mind with information relevant to your fitness goals it makes the experience that much better. Learn about a new exercise, a new pair of shoes, or about a motivating story to keep your mind focused on fitness.
Build confidence – Beyond learning about health and fitness (how many diet and exercise books can you read in a year?), another good idea is to fill your mind with motivating books and audio. Try picking up a book from Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, or Anthony Robbins to name a few. A few pages of the Bible each day doesn’t hurt either. Build up your confidence and self-esteem. Become efficient in your daily tasks, manage time better, and just be better.
Yeah, yeah, okay. Why is this so important?
Imagine two different scenarios:
1. John just started working out after a 5-year hiatus from exercise. For the past 3 weeks he has been doing pretty good – hitting the gym 3 or 4 days per week after work and he has lost 5 pounds. Then John has something come up at work and he has to put in some 12-hour shifts for 6 days in a row. So he misses a week of exercise. With the late work nights it’s mainly been fast food and microwave meals for dinner. Sunday night he steps on the scale – up 3 pounds from last week! Ugh. Gotta get back to the gym. He spends the rest of Sunday night watching TV, reading a fantasy football magazine, and staying up a little too late playing games on Facebook. Back to the gym after work tomorrow. Monday afternoon rolls around and a co-worker says, “Hey John, we’re going to the bar after work to get some wings and beer. You should come along.” Shoot, already up 3 pounds anyway. I’ll hit the gym later in the week.
2. John just started working out with his friend Rick every day after work. Rick’s in a little better shape than John, but it works out well for John because Rick pushes him to do just a little more with each workout. John is down a whopping 8 pounds in just 3 weeks! Things are going great. Then John has something come up at work and he has to put in some 12-hour shifts for 6 days in a row. On Wednesday John gets a text from Rick.
Rick: Gym tomorrow?
John: Still working late.
Rick: How about the weekend?
John: I could probably do that.
Rick: See you then.
John continues to work late nights. Some nights he is too tired to cook so he just mixes some protein powder that Rick recommended with some ice and peanut butter in a blender for a dinner smoothie. Saturday night John is sitting down checking out the fitness mag he picked up from the store when he gets a text from Rick: Hitting the gym in 30 if you want to come. John is tired, but anxious to get back at it.
John: I’ll drag my butt down there.
Rick: See you soon.
John steps on the scale while he is changing into his workout gear. Up one pound. Not bad, still down 7 pounds total. The next week John’s schedule is back to normal and he picks right back up where he left off.
Having an environment that works for you rather than against you can be extremely beneficial. It is something that most people do not take into account. It can be a contributing factor in a failed attempt at sticking with an exercise routine.
What steps do you need to take to be sure your environment is working for you and helping you reach your fitness goals?