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THE WHY — Beginning your health journey: Why a positive mindset is essential

Health columnist Michael Estes is committed to helping people in the Four States region improve their fitness as he guides you on a "Health Journey."

He has previously talked about how to get started (click here to read). Today, Michael is going to tackle your state of mind on the road to health and fitness:

Last time we talked, I discussed common-sense tips to get started on a journey towards health.

This was meant to help you get started in a controlled manner, so no one would completely overwhelm themselves in the beginning.

Today, we're going a little deeper into our health journey in a way that you might not expect.

It may seem a little odd, but it's important to first delve into our mindset and visualize our health goals as we begin this process

In fact, it's vital for future success.

That's because determining our thoughts and feelings will play a crucial role in tackling problems as we reach inevitable plateaus.

As you can probably imagine, things sometimes become more difficult as we travel down this road to better health and fitness.

So being honest with yourself, in the beginning, will pay huge dividends later on in the process.


All about "The Why"

First, you have to figure out WHY you want to start a health and fitness journey

Do you want to see a change in the mirror? Maybe a certain number on the scale? Or is it for general health reasons?

Whatever your motive may be, I want you to remember why you are doing this and what it could mean for you.

I also want you to think about other people in your life that your increased fitness could directly affect.

An important first step

This is my challenge to you: Ask yourself "Why am I doing this?"

And then write down all your reasons — anything you can think of.

 As you start to break down the elements of your life, your health goals will begin to become more real as you imagine your ultimate goals.

Doing this will also allow you to realize how much these changes could improve your life in the years to come.

In fact, this first level of thought can even help you prioritize future health planning and possibly even help you achieve higher career goals.

But you have to remember this: Write everything down. I can't stress this enough.

That way, there's no way for you to ever forget why you are doing this.

What now?

Once you have visualized your healthy future in your mind (and see your reasoning on paper), you should immediately start taking proactive steps toward health.

Yes, that's right, it's time to start SWEATING!

First, I am going to give you a small challenge to get the blood going and the calories burning.

For the next two weeks, let's follow a simple workout routine (at home or at the gym) to get started.

Beginning circuit (3 times)

‣15 Pushups

‣15 Situps

‣Squats w/chair 1st week: 60 sec., 2nd week: 90 sec.

‣Plank 30 sec.

‣20 Lunges


Instructions for the circuit:
1. Do this circuit 3 times for the first week, and then increase your reps to five the second week.
2. With each of these workouts, I want you to rest as needed.
3. You should try to push yourself, but you know your limits better than anyone else.
4. If you are unsure of how to perform an exercise, a quick internet search will get you back on track.
5. Try to complete each exercise with the best for possible form.

Next time

Stay positive for the next two weeks with the schedule I outlined above.

In my next column, I'll give a more in-depth look into basic meal prep that will help you go down the road towards health and fitness with a body that is fed — and full!

About the author: Michael Estes is a 28-year-old Sgt. in the Army National Guard and full-time Manager of 5 Star Nutrition. Having 12 years total in the health and fitness industry, he is well versed in all aspects of nutrition and fitness. Michael has a wife and two children, and he loves to drive results for anyone's goals for fitness and overall health.  

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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