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updated: 4/2/2012 6:12 AM

Get your mind set on long-term health

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  • Making a fitness goal should involve day-to-day choices. Often, we're looking so far ahead we fail to fully experience the path we're on.

    Making a fitness goal should involve day-to-day choices. Often, we're looking so far ahead we fail to fully experience the path we're on.


When setting out to accomplish a task such as losing weight, it's a great idea to practice goal setting. If you don't know where you want to go, it will be very difficult to get there. The end goal you visualize and work toward can be extremely motivating because it's personal to each and every individual.

But often, we're looking so far ahead that we fail to fully experience what is happening right in front of us. We are so busy thinking about the destination that we fail to enjoy the journey. The journey is the most important part. The journey is your lifestyle. The journey includes the choices you make every day.

If you're serious about taking control of your health, stop looking at exercise and nutrition as a "short-term" thing that you're doing right now and learn to see it as a "long-term" habit that you will practice from now on.

If you look at the big picture and have the mindset of changing your lifestyle rather than changing your bad habits long enough to lose a few pounds, you will greatly improve your chances for success and overall wellness.

The easiest way to change your mindset toward a healthier lifestyle is by educating yourself. There are so many opinions when it comes to exercise and nutrition that you may sometimes feel overwhelmed.

Talk to an expert or look at actual research that is not influenced by the profits of companies trying to sell you their products. Which foods should you be eating to help you build muscle and burn fat?

Learn how to cook meals using these healthy food options. Are you gluten intolerant? Do you have an issue with dairy? Should you be eating organic? Learn about unhealthy food additives and how they can be negatively affecting your health. What type of exercise is best for you? Ask questions and get answers. This education will be affecting what you do on a daily basis so you need to be confident with your choices.

So now that you have the education, it's time to apply it. This is where your passion and overall mindset come into play. How bad do you want it? Do you really want to be healthy and fit for life, or does it come back to that goal of getting in shape for an upcoming event or because you want to wear a swimsuit in a few months?

Once you decide that you are in it for the long haul, you can begin applying your new education on a daily basis and begin to turn your lifestyle around. But, you have to want to do it for the right reasons.

Changing your mindset for the rest of your life is not an easy thing. It may very well be a struggle most of the time and seldom will everything be perfect. But if you have the right attitude and the education to make the right decisions you are definitely on the right path. Your focus should always be progression rather than perfection.

As long as you are pointed in the right direction and moving forward, you will see and feel the benefits. Find a way to make the most of your journey, and the destination will be all that much more rewarding.

For more health-related tips, check out our blog at or find us on Facebook.

• Joshua Steckler and Mark Trapp are co-owners of Push Fitness, a personal training studio in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning and nutrition. Contact them at

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