The benefits of exercise go beyond how it changes our bodies. When we push through our workouts and really challenge ourselves we also gain mental strength. That strength carries over to your everyday life, which makes you more capable of pushing through challenges whether you're at work, being a parent, dealing with finances or any daily struggle. What you achieve in and out of your workouts are related. Exercise is a tool that makes us stronger in all areas of our lives, and when we do it regularly, we become better versions of ourselves.
You may understand the benefits of exercise and a clean, healthy diet, but you may still struggle with making it a lifestyle. If you're feeling like you're ready to give up on your mission, that's okay. Those feelings are natural and steam from many things like:
• Frustration from not seeing results
• Finding the time to make exercise and health eating a priority
• Not having the support of your loved ones
• Discomfort physically and mentally
But you can overcome these obstacles. You can push through these challenges and stick with your goals, although perseverance is no easy task. Sometimes the progress we're making isn't obvious, or your results may take more time to be seen than expected, so it's hard to believe what we're doing will pay off. The key to reaching your health goals is to be aware of these emotional roadblocks, and to understand that we all have a tendency to stop moving toward a goal when we're only steps away from achieving it. We stop short of becoming victorious in our goals because struggle blocks our perspective, and we lose sight of what we once knew we could achieve.
The things that challenge you the most in life are the things that you will be most proud of in the future. Imagine a proud and victorious version of yourself, and think of that image daily to keep yourself form being distracted by struggle. Focus on what you want and then do the work to get yourself there. You'll see the change you're seeking soon.
I got hooked on fitness for vanity reasons many years ago. But now that I'm a working mom, I do it because of the energy, focus and confidence it gives me. Exercise allows me to focus on something positive and forget the rest of my life for even 20 minutes, and that's so therapeutic! It makes me a better wife, mom, trainer and friend. I do it not only for myself but that healthy push will enable me to be there for my loved ones too.
Everyone is so busy these days, so I instruct my clients to do short interval-style workouts. This helps you to move and re-energize while lengthening, stretching and strengthening from the inside out. During the workout, you'll twist, hold and challenge yourself to breathe through these fusion style (interval training, yoga, Pilates and weight lifting mix) moves that will leave you standing up straighter and feeling light on your feet too! You can't change without a challenge so get ready to work hard as you'll gain energy and watch your body transform!
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a client, who comes in discouraged, begin to carry themselves with confidence after they've been training. It's a tricky process because everyone is so different, but I love the challenge and I get so excited each time someone new comes to workout with me. Inspiring others is my passion and I hope that I can continue to inspire more and more people through health and fitness.
The final word: Don't stop short of your goals -- finish that final lap, lose the first 10 pounds, hold a 60-second plank -- you can do it! Your victory is coming. Keeping running. You're almost there!
Vote for Noell Yanik for Women's Health magazine's Next Fitness Star competition at www.thenextfitnessstar.com.