If we could motivate our team, they would meet this year's performance goals. If we could eat smaller portions at dinner and skip dessert, we'd lose thirty pounds and then reach our high school weight. The list goes on and on. We believe we can set goals and achieve them, but watching our motivation impacts our success. If we could look inward and feel comfortable with the goals that we set for ourselves and then dedicate time to working on them, we could achieve more. Unfortunately, that's not the reality for most. We want you to place yourself into the mindset of someone who would benefit from greater motivation towards healthy habits. That's why we offer an anecdote and some insights into what fitness apps tell us about our lives:
We like this anecdote from Sylvia, one of our members. Recently, a close friend dragged me to a 1980s cover band show at a downtown venue. People of all ages were there, and we started to dance only after having a beverage. After I loosened up, I quickly realized that the songs being performed were important in my childhood. Those tunes were connected to the child inside me who is often locked away but screaming to break free. Whereas we had planned to leave the event early and dance the night away at another venue, we stayed to the end of the retro performance. It was a crazy dance party where I got so sweaty and exhausted that I had to use my asthma inhaler. I thought to myself, if we had both been using a device such as a Fitbit, we could have easily tracked our steps around the downtown area, but especially on the dance floor. In fact, we go out a few times a month to hear live bands, and we're never tracking our activity level. We save that for the gym.
Whereas Sylvia might have been happy to see the results on her Fitbit, she didn't have a goal. She was energized in the moment but not moving towards something concrete. Like Sylvia, you probably know what it's like to wish that you had goals. Once you have them, it's quite another thing to cope with how you feel when you don't meet them. This is typical for individuals who fall short of achieving New Year's resolutions, for instance. James Clear explains about his Goldilocks rule: "humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.”
In education, teachers struggle with this concern daily; it's their job to push children to achieve what's right beyond their reach but not too hard. This is challenging when it's hard to get kids to sit still long enough to complete tasks when the educational day does not provide instant gratification like modern apps do.
Before we comment on motivation, it's important to consider this question. Do we use the right tools to make dealing with motivation easier? Do we give ourselves opportunities to check off the things on our daily to-do lists? The beauty of fitness trackers is that they do all the work. They are tuned into our bodies, measuring our activity levels throughout the day and night. When we hook a fitness tracker up to one of several fitness apps, we can see one snapshot of our physical condition. It's easy to verify if we have walked enough steps over a 24-hour period or if we got our heart rate up to a fat-burning level for the right length of time. We can see if our breathing was consistent and determine if we need to work towards a higher cardiovascular capacity.
At inKin, we believe that fitness is for individuals and groups. We love social fitness because it connects people together even if they work out in different places. Our platform connects them in real-time through an easy-to-use platform. We wanted to delve more into how you can get into the groove with social fitness. It's about setting a goal for yourself for a level of activity that you want to achieve and then blocking some time in your schedule to do your favorite things. You have to get your body moving, whether that looks like a three-mile hike or dancing the night away to Cyndi Lauper and The Cure.
There is a distinct connection between getting fitter and your health and well-being. We're sure that you had at least one physical education teacher who drilled it into your head when you were young. That being said, it's good to review the benefits of wellness. According to Frank J. Penedo and Jason R. Dahn (2005) writing in Current Opinion in Psychiatry, there are medical benefits to exercise and fitness.
There is the obvious benefit of lifting your mood and the traditional lessening of symptoms of anxiety and depression. They also noted how some studies show that physical activity can prevent the onset of depression.
If you want the medical benefits of fitness, you absolutely must find the time to work out. If you're like most people, then you feel like you are just going through life while trying to balance work, family, recreation, love, and personal interests. While your emotions go up and down, they seem to compete with your thoughts for attention. If you can control your emotions, it's possible to get through the day. When things build up, especially demands that others place on you, finding a balance gets harder. It's harder to not let emotions overwhelm you. If you exercise daily, you're taking the time for your body to get physical relief. You're enjoying a temporary elevation in your mood. You go home after working out and realize that problems aren't so bad. You sleep better and then feel more prepared the next day to tackle new problems.
It's hard for us to generalize the benefits of exercise to people who come from so many different backgrounds, but there is something universal about fitness. We recommend that readers obtain better results by using fitness trackers along with their favorite fitness app. For example, the inKin app connects users via a single platform whether they prefer the Fitbit, the Misfit, or another wearable fitness tracker. We know that this platform makes it easy to set personal goals. If you choose goals that are just beyond your reach and then attain them, you will derive that sense of self-fulfillment. At that point, then you know that you have somehow achieved your higher purpose. That could originate from anywhere internally or externally according to your personal beliefs. For some of us, a sense of purpose begins inside and eventually manifests in the ways that we interact with others in our social network. For others, a sense of purpose stems from the supernatural. Wherever your purpose originates, we want you to achieve it!
Great news! You're on the way to meeting your own fitness goals. Success is more feasible if you join a social fitness community and hold yourself accountable to the members of a group. You'll just need to check in with them on a regular basis and explain your progress. If you don't like the results that you achieve this week, perhaps you can work harder the next time around!
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