You “practise yoga”, but you don’t “practise workouts”. Personal trainer Jessi Kneeland thinks that simple change in mindset can build a better, more fun, and long-lasting attitude towards fitness.
Photo by Jason Lengtorf
Writing in Greatist, Kneeland explains that people don’t approach yoga with specific goals, like losing a certain amount of weight. It’s seen as a lifelong activity to make your body (and mind) feel better. The mindset is that the process is the product.
But that’s not the case with going to a gym, where she draws upon her experience to note that people have goals of aesthetic or performance improvements, tied in with some other aspect of life like lifting luggage, playing with the kids or living longer. When going to the gym is a step to achieving what you want, it starts to feel like “work”. Instead, she recommends approaching fitness with the idea of “practising” it:
For one, calling something a practice takes the pressure off doing it perfectly… I often see clients approaching fitness with the idea that they must succeed in a specific way, and it inevitably leads to them feeling like failures — all it takes is one not-so-great workout to leave people unmotivated to try it again. On the other hand, “practising” something seems harmless. Fun, even! I think approaching fitness as a skill to be developed and improved would increase the likelihood of people getting started, while increasing motivation for continuing.
There are plenty of other ways to motivate yourself into exercising, but Kneeland’s mind hack is a refreshing way to look at your workout. It might just help you enjoy your gym time rather than groan when you have to lace up.