You are what you think


Every Thursday in June, we ran The Beast — a one-third mile cross-country run with two sets of stairs, 20 walking lunges, 20 push-ups, 20 jumping jacks and a sprint to the finish.

Naturally this exercise tests your cardiovascular system and stamina, but more importantly it’s a battle of mind over matter. Just completing this grueling finisher can be an accomplishment by itself. You have to get over thought that you might not be able to finish. The power of positive thinking can take you a long way toward reaching that goal.

Studies found that negative emotions can weaken people’s immune response to a flu vaccine. A study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin shows that activation of brain regions associated with negative emotions appears to make subjects more susceptible to illness.

Take this idea back to boot camp. One member, Alex, says that nearly every exercise we do is his favorite. Pushups followed by a plank crawl. His favorite. Tai kwon do moves. His favorite. His positive thinking helps him get through the workout without getting frustrated and believing that each exercise really is his favorite.

One way you can get a more positive attitude is to take the three Cs approach — commitment, control and challenge.

Make a commitment to treat yourself well, especially with the gift of good health. Praise yourself when you complete something like The Beast. Dream of running it faster. And be enthusiastic about doing it instead of dreading it.

Control your thoughts. Concentrate on things that are important to you like a healthy lifestyle and a fitness routine. When you learn to set goals and priorities for those things most important to you, you accomplish them a lot faster. If losing weight or gaining muscle tone are important to you, making them a priority will help you accomplish that goal.

Enjoy your successes along the way. If you want to lose 40 pounds, it could take six months to a year to accomplish that goal. Celebrate every 10 pounds that you lose. Setting smaller goals along the way will help you reach your big goal.

Finally, challenge yourself to change and improve on a daily basis. On any given day, you have to do your best and don’t let small setbacks get in the way. Maybe you ate a high-fat dinner last night. Move on and keep working toward your goal without beating yourself up over one lousy meal or a bad workout. Every day that you’re in boot camp, give 100 percent to help you reach your goal.

Any way you apply positive thinking to your life makes you a winner whether in boot camp, with your relationships or work. And that means that the next time we run The Beast, it won’t be as intimidating.




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2 Responses to "You are what you think"

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