5 Tips for Staying Mentally Focused During Exercise

lone-jogger-23441288983657JKQHave you ever stopped to think about how much how you think plays into how successful you are at something?  Call it desire, call it motivation, or drive, but let’s face it, when it comes to getting healthy if you mind isn’t in sync with what your trying to do, everything can go wrong pretty quickly.  It pays to stay focused on the task or exercise at hand, and keep an eye on the goal.  But it can be hard at times to do that.  Let’s face it, there are distractions everywhere.  So here are a few things that you can do to help keep your mind in sync with your body.

Tip # 1:  Start Slow and Easy

One of the easiest ways to become unfocused is to get mentally overwhelmed by all that you’re trying to accomplish.  So start out slow, small and easy.  Instead of running a five mile trek, start with a going around the block, or even a few steps.  It’s better to build a strong foundation using smaller pieces that fit together nicely in the long run.  You can easily building from there.

Tip # 2:  Talk to Yourself

Mantras are phrases or words that are used in meditation to help the person keep focus.  They are simple words or phrases that act as a reminder of what your supposed to be doing if you go off track.  And here’s the best part- they don’t need to have anything to do with religion.  It can be as simple as saying the word  “run” under your breath when you start to lose focus on your jog, or  “new dress” if your goal is to fit into a size 10 for the holidays.  Simply find a word or phrase that you can use to snap yourself back into focus,and use it!


Tip # 3:  Drink Water and Eat Well

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.  Just as your mind can affect how your body performs, what you put in your body will affect how well your mind works.  One of the best ways to help keep your mind focused and active is through proper eating and hydration.  So when you start going for that practice marathon, be sure to take along some water.

Tip # 4:  Make Plans

Believe it or not, one of the easiest ways to stay focused while exercising is to have an idea of what your going to do after you finish.  It’s kind of like putting a carrot out in front of you.  Let’s say that you plan on swimming 10 laps in the pool, but just can’t seem to stay mentally focused to get it done.  Before you dive in, think of something specific that you want to do once those ten laps are accomplished- and use it as a reward.  Be specific.  Perhaps there is a movie that you’ve been dying to see, or a new book that needs to be bought. Use that desire as a way to  focus your energy into the task at hand.

Tip # 5: Don’t Forget to Breathe

It’s funny.  One of the things that I do more regularly than I’d like is to forget to breathe, especially if I’m trying to stay focused on something.  Needless to say this is the last thing that you want to do.  If you want to promote mental clarity, you need to make sure you’re getting enough oxygen to your brain.  So the next time you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and unfocused, take a few deep breaths.

What are your tricks for staying mentally focused?

About Laura Seeber (110 Posts)

Laura Seeber is a geologist, environmental professional, writer, and outdoor and nature enthusiast. Born just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Laura has spent the majority of her life hiking through the forest, descending into caves, climbing over boulders and up cliffs, navigating river rapids, and writing and blogging about her adventures. She currently resides in Illinois and travels country in search of the next great outdoor activity or adventure.

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