The definition of health is not one-dimensional. Health(y) is a state of complete well-being, not only the absence of disease or illness.1
Living a healthy lifestyle is a result of learning how to proportion aspects of health, such as physical fitness and psychological health. This balance can be disrupted when ideas of perfection get in the way. Maintaining a perspective that there is a “perfect” way to exercise or that exercise leads to a “perfect” body can be detrimental to any gym-goer. Striving for exercise perfection leaves more room for failure than success. This fear of failure is likely to impact success by reducing confidence and feelings of self-worth.2
Health, and specifically fitness, is a process filled with goals, success and setbacks. Perfection is a lofty goal rooted in competition while self-improvement is a goal established in learning. When exercise is undertaken with the goal of learning how to become better, we develop a greater sense of ownership and confidence in our work.3 Creators of self-improvement goals understand that their abilities to run, deadlift or even throw are not fixed skills. Instead, these are skills that can be improved upon.
Setting the goal of becoming strong inherently challenges us, the goal setters, to learn how to become better than we were the workout prior. Poor form and a negative attitude will take a toll on our goals, where understanding how to move properly and learning how to embrace occasional defeat will bring goals to life.
Below are a few tips to consider when creating your workouts. These tips, and previous posts in the Stronger than Yesterday series, are a resource to encourage strength and fitness motivation.
An exercise routine is as unique as the person who created it. A key to any great program is enjoyment and viewing fitness goals as little pieces to a bigger puzzle. With safety, always in mind, try different movement patterns (a squat, deadlift, pull-up, or push-up) and experience exercise as a chance to learn about your abilities. You may be surprised as to what you will find!
If soreness from your exercise routine occurs and lasts more than one week, schedule a free assessment at your nearest Athletico location so our physical therapists can help your injury heal properly.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Christopher Spray, John Wang, Stuart Biddle, & Nikos Chatzisarantis. “Understanding motivation in sport: an experimental test of achievement goal and self determination theories.” European Journal of Sport Science (2006): 43-51.
2. Daniel Weigand, Sam Carr, Caroline Petherick, & Adrian Taylor. “Motivational climate in sport and physical education: the role of significant other.” European Journal of Sport Science (201): 1-13.
3. Harnish, Amelia. “Why Perfectionism could be Killing you.” 3 October 2014. Health. 11 February 2017. <http://www.health.com/depression/why-perfectionism-could-be-killing-you>.
4. Jan Seghers, Nathalie Vissers, Cindy Rutten, Steven Decroos, Filip Boen. “Intrinsic goals for leisure- time physical activity predict children’s daily step count through autonomous motivation.” Psychology of Sport and Exercise (2014): 247-254.
5. “World Health Organization.” Constitution of the World Health Organization. New York, 19-22 June 1946.