4 Most Common Mind Traps that Prevent You from Reaching Your Health & Fitness Goals

When it comes to movement, there are many mind traps that keep us from getting off the couch and just doing it. However, the truth is, any and all movement has benefits. In fact, one recent meta-analysis suggested just 2-5 minutes of gentle walking several times during the day could improve blood sugar control. So, how do you overcome those pesky training traps and get going? Read on to learn about some common patterns and tips for success.

Written by Becca Blumberg, MS, RDN
Edited by Pavlína Marek

1. The “It’s Not Worth It” Mind Trap

Ever hear yourself saying “Well, I don’t have enough time to get [30, 45, 60] minutes of activity in, so why bother?” This is the ‘it’s not worth it’ training trap. The truth is, all movement adds up. If you purposefully take two 5-minute walking breaks every day for one year, that’s over 60 HOURS of walking!

2. The “Being Busy Equals Being Active” Mind Trap

Do you perhaps tend to mistake being busy for being active? All of our lives are busy. We run from here to there doing errands, shuttling kids, and commuting to and from work.

However, this “running” is being done in our cars. We don’t actually move. Therefore, finding ways to incorporate movement into our daily routines becomes more important. This can look like taking “exercise snacks” (2-10 minute activity breaks) at work, walking up the stairs, or parking farther away,… there are many ways to keep active, choose whatever works for you!

The important part is that you get out of the car and from behind the desk and get moving. What’s more, these purposeful moments of movement may have mental health benefits as well!

3. The “No Time to Spare” Mind Trap

Yes, we all KNOW that activity is important. However, how many of us actually think of it as a non-negotiable? Too often, it gets shoved aside for meetings, appointments, and other commitments. When you mark your training plan as an important appointment on your calendar, commit to meeting a friend, join an exercise class, or even hire a personal trainer, you lay a better foundation for yourself to build and maintain consistency in getting it done.

4. The “If I Don’t Sweat, It Doesn’t Count” Mind Trap

Have you ever heard of the benefits of just walking? It’s not a high-intensity exercise and it’s still great for both the body and the mind.

The ‘if I don’t sweat, it doesn’t count training trap is related to the ‘it’s not worth it’ one. Rather than having a time goal, this involves the feeling that a workout needs to hit a certain intensity to “count.”

Sometimes, this is just not realistic, or worse—it even gets in the way of someone’s willingness to do a workout. In fact, the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published by the US Department of Health & Human Services call for 150 minutes of MODERATE (so you could still carry a conversation) activity weekly.

This can be spread out HOWEVER you want it, you just need to accumulate this amount. For example, this could be two 15-minute sessions in a day to accumulate 30 minutes that day.

Final Thoughts

Too often, we let the great be the enemy of the good when it comes to working out. If we can’t get in a certain number of minutes or miles or hit a certain intensity, we think “Why bother?” This huge mind trap leads us to not do ANY movement whatsoever. It’s important to remember, on those busy days when life just happens, even going for a short walk really does count.

About Becca Blumberg, MS, RDN

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Becca Blumberg is a registered dietitian-nutritionist (RDN) based in Fort Collins, CO. She has a Masters degree in Human Nutrition from Colorado State University. She’s completed a dietetic internship in the Northern Colorado area focused on wellness and lifestyle medicine and is a certified intuitive eating counselor. She’s also a personal trainer and RRCA Level 1 Running Coach. She’s passionate about helping people achieve their endurance goals and seeing the ripple effect that this can create for them.

If you have any questions, are looking for general advice, or just want a nutritionist to have your back, check Becca out at https://www.facebook.com/Ripple.Nutrition or ripplenutrition.wixsite.com/ripplenutrition or reach out to her @ripple.nutrition on Facebook or at beccablumberg@gmail.com.

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