During my journey to get physically and mentally fit, I’ve run across several myths that held me up, and I’ve noticed I’m not the only one.
More often than not, these “myths” are just ways to talk yourself out of getting moving. Generally, getting fit isn’t easy peasy (no matter what all these workout and diet gurus tell you); it takes hard work. Still, it’s doable, and it benefits you both physically and mentally.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common myths about fitness, and the (sometimes brutal!) facts that can crush them in their steps!
MYTH #1: “I can’t do it.”
FACT: You CAN do it; it’s just a matter of how badly you want it and how strongly that “want” will get you up off the couch. Do you honestly think your yoga instructor was born in a Downward Dog? Start by setting small goals (“Today, I’ll take a brisk walk.”) and working toward bigger ones (“This summer, I’ll run my first 5K!”).
MYTH #2: “Everyone’s looking at me.”
FACT: Most people are too busy focusing on what THEY’RE doing to worry about what YOU’RE doing. After all, what YOU’RE doing doesn’t help them achieve THEIR goals. That super fit runner you just crossed paths with on the track? Chances are she’s counting down the distance until she’s finished with her run. Or, she’s enjoying her “runner’s high.” Or, she’s focusing on proper breathing. It’s highly unlikely she’s thinking about how slowly you’re running, or what you’re wearing, or whether you’re breathing like every breath might be your last. Grab you iPod, turn on your most upbeat jams, and forget everyone else.
MYTH #3: “I’m too depressed to leave the house.”
FACT: Look, there are times when, mentally, you’re just not feeling it. That’s fine. Give yourself a day off. Just don’t let that day turn into a week, a month – or forever. Plus, you don’t have to leave the house to get in a good workout. Consider working out at home (which, with today’s Internet and phone apps, doesn’t have to cost a penny), and when you’re ready to venture out, do so. Also, keep reminding yourself of all the psychological benefits of exercising, such as boosts in mood and increased endorphins (ahem – depression busters!).
MYTH #4: “I don’t have time.”
FACT: Don’t give me that crap. You can MAKE TIME. Think about all the time you spend browsing Facebook, binging on Netflix, or creating new Pinterest boards about how you’re going to decorate your living room some day. I’m not telling you to sacrifice your family time or career, but how about spending some of that other time focusing on your mental and physical well-being?
MYTH #5: “Why bother? I’m a lost cause.”
FACT: You are NOT a lost cause. You might think you’re too overweight, out of shape, or uneducated about getting fit to start exercising, but you’re not. EVERYONE starts somewhere (remember the yoga teacher example?). You have to be your own advocate. Consider joining a beginner’s class to learn more about what kind of exercise you want to do, and remember, working out helps you lose weight and get in shape – both physically and mentally. You just have to take the first step. It all starts with the first step.
How about YOU, readers? What are some of the myths you’ve experienced while incorporating physical fitness into your mental fitness? How did you CRUSH those myths?