Keeping your Fitness Focus When Stress Hits

Top five tips to keep your fitness focus when life gets off course.

I haven’t written much in the past two weeks, and I can’t get into a lot of specifics, but I’ve been dealing with some long-term issues that have made my life even more busy. Not only busy, but pretty traumatic for me and my loved ones. I have to admit, my thought has been, “Well, is this it? Is this when I give up on my fitness goals?” I mean we all have a limit to our fitness focus, right?

And, as I saw when my triplets were born, the sort of life-changing circumstances I’ve faced over the past few years kind of asks a person to reorder priorities and reconsider any time and money investment outside of the absolute musts. So, my thoughts went to the question of whether not I should scale back on my fitness focus and workout routine, including the foods I buy and the time I spend.

It took me about a minute to answer my own question. Of course not. I believe in all these things I’ve been saying on this blog an in my daily email messages. I believe that my health, your health, is as valuable as anything else we can give ourselves and our kids. I believe that next to prayer, personal fitness is the number two way to get through a crisis. And I believe that buying healthy food costs less in the long run than spending money on garbage that will lead to medical problems and reduced productivity.

And while I was in the middle of my ponderings, an article about me, “Never Too Busy,” came out in the local paper and I was reminded, yet again, of how far I’ve come and why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Not only has O’Dell seen the results for herself, but she has seen her example passed along to her children as well, as her triplets competed in the Paxton 5K Color Run last Monday.

“They’re making better choices,” O’Dell said. “They’re healthier and more active. They wanted to do it because they’ve watched me on my journey. Those benefits far outweigh the costs to my time and my schedule.” read more

I decided that while everything else is changing around me, one thing that’s not going to change is my fitness focus. I believe that all the work I’ve done getting physically strong was, in part, to prepare me to dig deep and find a different kind of strength–spiritually and emotionally. In the end, it’s all about choices, and I choose to rely on God, and, by extension, my friends and my own strength.

What are you facing right now that’s making you doubt your ability to continue? Or if things are smooth for you right now, what will you do when challenges arise? Here are some tips for maintaining your fitness focus when life goes off course.

5 Ways to Keep Your Fitness Focus

  1. Re-evaluate your goals. Are they realistic? Do they still excite you? Will they motivate you to press on when things are tough?
  2. Re-evaluate your plans. Will your fitness plans related to diet, exercise, and sleep get you to where you want to be? If not, you may need to revisit number one or make a new plan to get there.
  3. Involve others. When you’re facing a crisis, it’s easy to withdraw from people. But it’s even more important to let your support system do its job.
  4. Clear your mind. Let your exercise time be a freeing time when there’s no room for worry, regret, anger, or any other damaging emotions.
  5. Let go, and let God. (So cliche’, I know–but so true.) Let go of the things you cannot change and let God be in charge of the things He can. Surrender your fears, your plan-making, and your frenzy,  and let him take over. Everything will benefit from that attitude, include your fitness.

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