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Why You Should Sign Up for Your First 5K Race

Why You Should Sign Up for Your First 5K Race

If you are someone who is interested in finding more motivation to do your workout sessions and also wants to boost your cardiovascular conditioning level at the same time, one of the top things that you should be focusing on is finding a reason to get the sessions done. Many people enter their workout program without much more than a body weight goal in mind, and while this will help motivate you to an extent, it’s often not enough to keep you pushing along when times get hard. That is why signing up to participate in your first 5K event – or longer, depending on your physical condition and what you think you can handle – is such a wise move. When you sign up to one of these events, you’ll instantly see a soar in motivation as you now have a clear reason to keep working hard towards each workout you do. Let’s go over some additional reasons why signing up for a 5k race can help you see greater workout success.

You’ll Meet Like-Minded People

The very first reason you should consider signing up for a 5k race is because it will give you the opportunity to meet a number of like-minded people. Having people around you who are active and support your goals is one of the number one ways to stay committed to the fitness lifestyle. If you don’t have many friends at the moment who are into working out and eating right, this could prove to be rather disastrous on your own program plan. Therefore, it’s time to meet others who share your interest and will help to keep you motivated and inspired. Your 5k race is a perfect way to do this.

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You’ll Push Yourself Harder Every Step of the Way

The next reason why it’s a smart move to sign up for a 5k race is because it’s going to help you push yourself harder every step of the way. If you’re just exercising to lose weight, your primary purpose for a session will be to burn calories. However, you can accomplish a calorie burn working at 80% effort or 60% effort – it doesn’t really make a difference as long as you exercise long enough. When performance is the primary goal because you need to run for time now, you will be giving a higher level of effort because it now becomes that much more critical to your success. If you are someone who often finds yourself giving half effort in the workout sessions you do, this is a very smart way to trick your mind into working harder – without you really even realizing you are. Whenever you give someone a performance oriented goal, their effort will typically go up.

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You’ll Bring Out Your Competitive Spirit

For many people, this spirit hasn’t been worked since grade school when they may have participated in a team sport of choice or some other competitive event or race, yet it’s still an important part of you that adds excitement to your fitness regime and can help increase your performance as well. In fact, some may find that this competitive spirit is one of the most enjoyable elements of being physically active and after you complete that first 5k race, you are hooked and hungry for more. For certain individuals, it’s one of the top ways to help them stay committed to fitness for life as they now feel like they have a superior reason for training rather than just being healthy and maintaining a goal weight.

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You’ll Gain a Sense of Accomplishment

Finally, the last reason to consider signing up for your first 5k race is because it will help you gain a sense of accomplishment. As far as keeping your motivation levels higher go, this simply can’t be beat. The more accomplished you are as you reach goals you’ve set, the more you will believe in yourself that you can go on to reach any other goal that you set into the future. This is referred to as self-efficacy and can make a big difference on your ability to succeed long term. If you’ve set goals in the past that you’ve failed at for instance, you know very well that this may cause your motivation to take a turn for the worse. But, if you set goals and reach them, you now feel like you can achieve anything you set your mind to, so you’re far more likely to keep setting goals and pushing on towards them. This translates to far greater results over the long haul. There you have some of the top reasons why you should consider joining, training for and participating in your first 5k race. Even if you aren’t a runner, there are plenty of other similar races out there that you can do that will spark your interest and get your fitness level up. Check out what’s available in your area or if you really want to make an event of it, look into travel options so that you can take a mini-holiday as you participate in the race as well.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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