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8 Types of Attitude Most People Believe Are Essential to Staying Fit

8 Types of Attitude Most People Believe Are Essential to Staying Fit

Do you approach fitness with an ‘all or nothing’ mentality and obsess over the ‘eat clean & train dirty’ motto?

Are you too busy with the gym to worry about developing relationships and having some semblance of a life? Do you feel guilty for eating things that aren’t included in your diet?

If this is you—it’s time to take a timeout and adjust your attitude toward fitness.

Despite what you might have heard, becoming sexy and fit doesn’t equate to making numerous life altering sacrifices, missing out on meaningful events, or living a life that isn’t fun and fulfilling.

Will you have to make some sacrifices? Yes. However, I prefer to look at those as healthy adjustments to one’s life. Approaching life with the wrong fitness attitude will put a damper on your personal life and eventually lead you to resenting fitness.

If you’re new to fitness, stuck in a rut, or obsessing, then take a moment and review the list below of unhealthy fitness attitudes. Develop a positive fitness attitude before you start to pull your hair out.

Attitude #1- You avoid all your favorite foods

The number one complaint by people trying to start a healthier lifestyle is being forced to hand over their ‘unhealthy foods’. Healthier choices are needed in order to lose fat, but you don’t have to give up your favorite foods completely.

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Depriving yourself of your favorite foods is a surefire way to resent fitness. Depriving yourself increases your chances of binge eating. After binging, you’re more likely to feel shame and guilt about your indulgences.

If you’re exercising and eating healthy the majority of the time, indulge in your favorite foods with zero guilt given. This lifestyle of eating healthy isn’t a one week or three month excursion—it’s meant to be with us forever.

Life is too short to never enjoy the pleasures of food.

fitness attitude
    Everybody deserves cake from time to time

    Attitude #2- You take calorie counting too far

    Calorie counting gets out of hand when you start to obsess over your daily choices.

    Calorie counting doesn’t mean counting every little spec of food that you consume. Calorie counting doesn’t mean hitting your exact goal to the tee or it’s a failed day. If you want 150 grams of protein, but only reach 135 grams, then that’s a good job all on its own.

    Calorie counting best serves as a tool to teach you about food and aim for a daily goal.

    Attitude #3- Your confidence about your body hinges on others’ opinions

    At times, the mind is a master of deception. With advertising, people sprouting up in our newsfeeds modeling in their underwear, and magazines showing off the latest celeb diet of ‘this person lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks’, our self-worth is tested everywhere we turn.

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    Relying on external sources to determine our self-worth is a recipe for disappointment.

    The most important fact never stated is that those individuals are professionals—it’s their job to look as seemingly perfect as they do. They have professional chefs, trainers, nutritionists, maids, assistants, and any other kind of help. They don’t have to worry about taking care of their business, family, kids, school, cooking, cleaning, and the whole nine yards, as many of us do.

    Give yourself a break and stop comparing yourself to professionals who have hours upon hours to invest into their fitness. As long as you’re working hard, acting with intent, and being consistent with your habits, you should feel no shame or guilt. Results will happen.

    Will it take longer? Yes. But, who cares? The joy is in the journey and the growing that happens, not the destination. Gaining acceptance and letting go of needing approval of others will land you in a better place mentally and physically.

    Attitude #4- You think fitness is a one trick pony

    The beauty about fitness is that there isn’t only one way to go about exercising. Just as an RPG (role playing game) leads itself to exploration, discovery, and experimenting, your fitness is the same.

    Allow yourself to explore different styles of strength training. Discover a form of yoga that you enjoy. Experiment with methods of eating until you find one that works for you. Fitness is meant to tag along while you live a fulfilling and adventurous life—not become a dictator of your life.

    Attitude #5- You force yourself to do activities you hate

    The majority of people are under the assumption that cardio (i.e. long distance running) is needed in order to lose fat and become fitter. This outdated rule couldn’t be any further from the truth.

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    While some love to run, which I have no problems with, it’s not the only solution. If you make yourself do something you despise or feel uncomfortable with, you’ll stick with it for maybe a week or so. Soon, willpower fades because there’s only a limited amount for each of us. Fitness is meant for exploration—not pigeon holing yourself into a one size fits all strategy.

    Try new activities and see what sticks. Just because you’re not at a gym, it doesn’t mean you can’t improve your fitness. Get creative and go for a hike, explore your city and discover hidden gems that a car won’t show you. Go for a bike ride along the countryside, and most importantly, just stay active and enjoy yourself.

    Attitude #6- You tend to avoid social interactions for fear of ruining your diet

    It’s a Friday night and your friends give you a call to go out for drinks and unwind. You instead tell them, “I’m going to stay in” and use an easy excuse such as, “I’m too tired” or “I have a lot of work to do tonight.”

    How do I know these are common excuses? Because I have used them myself. I was afraid of ruining my diet and losing all of my weeks progress. I was also unhappy and depressed.

    If this is you, then tell yourself “no more!”. Let it be known to yourself that you won’t allow your diet to imprison you and cause you to miss out on activities with friends. Your macros are not worth becoming a hermit and living a life of solitude.

    Go out and have a drink or two with no shame. Keep the big picture in mind. No one in the history of fitness ever lost all their progress from having a couple of frothy cold drinks.

    fitness attitude
      have a couple drinks with zero guilts given

      Attitude #7- You workout to impress others

      What’s your motivation for working out? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? Your social circle? Your pretend friends on Facebook?

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      If any of those are the answer, you need to adjust your fitness attitude. External motivation will only take you so far. The flame burning to impress others will only light so long before it flames out. Sustainability with fitness comes from a fire within that will always burn—no matter the outside world’s opinion.

      At the end of the day, who cares how much you bench or squat? Who cares if your abs are or aren’t perfectly symmetrical? Who cares if you perform CrossFit, are into bodybuilding, or even general strength training? And ladies, it doesn’t matter if your legs aren’t toned to perfection.

      Don’t waste your time worrying about the minutiae of details—you have a life to live.

      Attitude #8- You quit when it gets tough

      The first few weeks of weight loss were easy like Sunday morning. Now, the weight isn’t flying off, work is stressful, and life is hitting you from all angles.

      Will you quit and claim, “weight loss isn’t for me” and “I’ll start back once life settles down”?

      Those are excuses. And excuses only sound best to those who make them.

      Let go of your excuses. There isn’t a better time to start than right now. Your setbacks and resistances are blessings in disguise to help you grow. Something will always show up and try to stop you.

      Will you let it stop you again or will you keep marching on?

      As W.L. Bateman said “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.”

      More by this author

      Julian Hayes II

      Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

      18 Basic Rules for Leading a Fulfilling Life Starting Today, Stop These 6 Things to Become the Best Version of Yourself 5 Fun Ways to Transform Your Body And Health When You Don’t Feel Like Going to the Gym 4 Common Reasons Why You Fall Short With Your Weight Loss Goals (And What You Should Do Instead) 7 (Surprising) Actions to Take For Guaranteed Fat Loss

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      Last Updated on November 12, 2020

      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

      If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

      If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

      In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

      What Happens When You’re Too Tired

      If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

      Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

      • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
      • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
      • Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
      • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
      • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
      • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
      • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

      Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?

      Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

      Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:

      1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
      2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
      3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

      The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

      Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

      You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

      Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued

      If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

      Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

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      Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive[5].

      Symptoms of fatigue include:

      • Difficulty concentrating
      • Low stamina
      • Difficulty sleeping
      • Anxiety
      • Low motivation

      These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.

      Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

      How Much Sleep Is Enough?

      The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

      Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

      Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

        The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

        Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

        Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[7]

        If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

        It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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        4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

        Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

        1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
        2. Exercising regularly
        3. Using stressbusters
        4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

        After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

        I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

        Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

        • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
        • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
        • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
        • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

        The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.[8]

        Living Healthy

        Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.

        In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

        As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

        Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

        1. Unplug

        Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

        Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

        2. Unwind

        Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.

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        3. Get Comfortable

        Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

        Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

        Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[10]

        This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

        Exercise

        Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

        That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.

        I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.

        If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

        Attitude

        Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

        When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.

        But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

        Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

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        1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
        2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
        3. Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
        4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
        5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
        6. Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.

        This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

        When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[11]

        Nutrition

        Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.

        If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

        Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

        Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

        1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
        2. Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
        3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
        4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
        5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
        6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
        7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
        8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
        9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.

        Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

        That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

        Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.

        The Bottom Line

        If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.

        If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.

        Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

        More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

        Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
        [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
        [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
        [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
        [5] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
        [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
        [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
        [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
        [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
        [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
        [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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