Health and fitness have always been a top priority in my life. I believe that maintaining a healthy balanced life is essential for happiness and well-being. The best way to achieve balance is by mastering every area of your life.
That is why I wanted to invite Anand Jobanputra, a Strength and Fat Loss Coach, author, and Founder of Underdog Strength, a website dedicated to providing practical fitness, nutrition, and motivation tips, to write a guest post to talk about 5 ways that fitness can help you master all areas of life.
Take it away Anand!
I would like to share with you 5 ways that fitness can help you master all areas of life. You probably already know the importance and benefits of physical fitness for health and well-being. Given that we have become more sedentary over the years, taking care of our health has become more important than ever before.
An unhealthy body and a healthy mind simply do not go hand in hand.
Several research studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle has been associated with mental health disorders. What most people fail to see is that the benefits of pursuing a fitness goal are beyond physical.
If the benefits of fitness are so far-reaching, then why is it that so many people today are unhealthy?
In my experience, one of the biggest reasons for this is that people don’t create short and long-term fitness goals. Simply going to the gym and working out, without any goals, is not a great motivator. On the other hand, if you set specific goals with regard to your fitness regime, you will be much more motivated to achieve them.
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Take my example – I used to be morbidly obese growing up, weighing over 275 lbs. I used to work out here and there, but I never achieved any long-lasting results. When I decided to set a goal of losing 100 lbs in one year, that’s when I saw the real results. Not only did I achieve my goal, I actually exceeded it by losing over 125 lbs.
You can clearly see a physical transformation here, but what most people fail to see is the mental transformation that took place. I can say, without a doubt, that my mindset has completely changed by pursuing this goal. It has taught me some valuable life lessons, which I have been able to apply to other areas of my life. You can learn more about my transformation here.
Below are 5 ways that fitness can help you master every area of your life:
1. Fitness teaches You How To Embrace Failure
When pursuing your fitness goals, you will inevitably deal with failure along the way. Failure can be a great opportunity to learn and adjust.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight and to look a certain way, you will hit plateaus where you are not making progress. Maybe your weight has stalled. During these times, you can make adjustments to your diet and training in order to make further progress.
The same techniques can be used when you face failure and plateaus in life. When you view failure as an opportunity to grow is when you achieve mastery in all areas of your life. Michael Jordan said it best, “I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
2. Fitness inspires You To Set and Achieve Your Goals
Fitness has given me the confidence to set goals and achieve them. There are a lot of people who set goals, but fail to achieve them because they lack the confidence to achieve them. Almost anyone can achieve small fitness goals. These small victories can be a huge confidence booster and will give you the motivation to achieve even bigger goals.
The best goals are S.M.A.R.T. goals, which stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goals.
For example, if your goal is to ‘lose some weight’ then you will most likely not achieve anything significant. My personal S.M.A.R.T. goal was to lose 100 lbs. in a year. This meant that I had to lose roughly 2 lbs. per week to get there.
Let’s break it down:
Specific: The goal of losing 100 lbs. is a specific number
Measurable: I weighed myself using a weight a scale. I would also keep track of body measurements to make sure I was making progress towards my goal.
Achievable: Losing 100 lbs seems like a scary goal for most people. But if you break it down to 2 lbs. per week, it doesn’t seem that intimidating does it?
Relevant: Your goals have to be relevant to you. If you want to lose weight, you should do it because you want to, not because someone tells you to. If your goals are intrinsic, you are more likely to achieve them.
Time-Bound: Without a deadline, your goal is just a dream. A deadline not only creates a sense of urgency but it also gives you a date to look forward to.
Once you learn how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals and achieve them, you can easily apply the same goal setting process to other areas of your life.
3. Fitness Improves Your Work Ethic
Any goal that is worthwhile requires an insane amount of work ethic. Most people underestimate how much work it actually takes to achieve a significant goal.
With fitness, you may have the best coach, training program, and supplements to support you, but you have to put in the work. No one else can do it for you.
While it’s important to have long-term goals, you have to focus on the actual process that will get you there. The hard work that you put into your fitness goals will help you develop your work ethic for life.
4. Fitness Helps You Develop Good Habits
Habits are important because they lead to success in the long term. Motivation and willpower are limited resources, which run out pretty fast. Habit is what keeps you going when they run out.
In his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, author Charles Duhigg talks about how we program our minds and bodies with the actions that we take or do not take on a regular basis.
According to the book, exercising and tracking what you eat are two of the eight ‘Keystone Habits’. Keystone Habits are those habits that are more important than other habits. This is because these habits can cause a chain reaction of other good habits, which will ultimately lead to your success.
If you exercise regularly, you will find that you also eat better, drink less, go to bed early, and increase productivity. Improving one keystone habit can help improve multiple things at the same time.
When you are new to fitness, you need a lot of motivation to go to the gym and eat healthily. Over time, if you make it a habit, it gets so ingrained in you that it doesn’t take much motivation to workout at all. In fact, you may find that it takes you willpower, not to workout and eat healthily.
5. Fitness Teaches You To Have Patience
In this era of instant gratification, patience is more valuable than ever. Even when it comes to fitness, people look for shortcuts to reach their goals. If someone wants to lose weight, they try to look for secrets or the magic pill that will help them get their dream body. We all know that these things don’t work.
Once you’re no longer a beginner, progress slows down over time. This is where patience can help you win in the long term. Most people suffer from shiny object syndrome. If they don’t see results right away, they move on to the next thing and the cycle continues.
With any fitness goal, you learn to trust the process and know that the results will come if you put in the work, one rep at a time. In the words of George Savile, “The man who is a master of patience is a master of everything else.”
These are 5 ways that fitness can help you master your life. If you want to take your life to the next level but don’t know how fitness is a great place to start!
When you pursue and achieve your fitness goals, your success will carry over into all areas of your life.
Anand is a Strength & Fat Loss Coach, Powerlifter and Author. After going through a major physical transformation, he has dedicated his life to helping many others achieve the same. He’s the Founder of Underdog Strength, a website dedicated to providing practical fitness, nutrition, and motivation tips.
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