When we hear the word "fitness,” how many of us automatically think “physical fitness?”


For many, their first thoughts may be of intense, grueling workouts.  Others may think about their own fitness levels and what type of shape they’re in. Then there are those who will focus on the weight they need to lose, how strong they are or the shape they used to be in.

 

While the physical aspect of fitness is important, it’s not the only one that should be worked on. There are other components of being fit that are just as important:

 

  • - Mental fitness
  • - Nutritional fitness

 

By neglecting these two vital aspects of fitness, you may decrease your chances of getting into the best shape you can be. In order to improve, all three aspects must be strengthened!

 

The Importance of Mental Fitness

Mental Fitness is a vital component of fitness. It applies not only to physical activities, but to life overall. Being mentally fit allows a person to overcome many of the obstacles as well as trials and tribulations that we may encounter at any given time.

 

However, when it comes to physical fitness, being mentally strong is mandatory. For example, it’s important to know that reaching our physical fitness goals can take time. Success rarely happens overnight.  Things often take longer than originally thought!

 

Because of these setbacks, feelings of anger, frustration, sadness and other negative emotions may creep into a person’s mind. The inability to handle adversity can cause many to give up when things don’t go their way.

 

Mental toughness can help a person persevere when times are tough.

 

Being Nutritionally Fit 

If a person seeks to be physically fit, eating healthy foods is key!! A common misconception is a person can eat whatever they want, as long as they are working out. Unfortunately, this is not true. In order to function properly, the body needs fuel. By eating foods of little nutritional value, they drastically reduce their probability of meeting their fitness goals.

 

Understanding how food affects performance is key to fitness success.

 

Putting it All Together 

Being physically, mentally and nutritionally fit are all interconnected. Instead of focusing on just one aspect of fitness, it’s critical we work on all three parts simultaneously. For example, a person could become frustrated and quit working out because they aren’t seeing any results. One possible reason is they are eating the wrong foods. Instead of eating foods that give them energy, they eat foods that affect their performance.

 

The following tips can help a person reach all aspects of their fitness goals:

 

Training

  • - Exercise 3 to 5  days per week
  • - Perform exercises you enjoy
  • - Change your routine every few weeks
  • - Exercise 15 to 60 minutes per session
  • - Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night 
 

Mindset

  • - Focus on the long-term
  • - Don’t compare yourself to others
  • - Have solid, concrete goals
  • - Having patience is key
  • - Repeat positive affirmations daily
    • I will achieve my goals!
    • I can do this!
    • Nothing can stop me!

 

Nutrition

  • - Avoid processed foods
  • - Choose foods with high nutritional value
  • - Increase intake of fruits and veggies
  • - Limit intake of fast foods and fried foods
  • - Opt for lean sources of protein
  • - Eat for the nutritional value, not the taste
  • - Season foods with herbs and spices
  • - Drink 8 or more glasses of water daily

 

By working on all three aspects of fitness simultaneously, you can increase your chances of achieving your fitness goal - whatever that may be!