© 2020 by Christopher Johnson, Ed.D. No information on this site is to be taken as medical advice. Newton, Ma 02460

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Fitness Rituals Reduce Pressure and Anxiety while Increasing Confidence

Rituals are series of actions repeated in a precise manner. Think of rituals as sequential habits. This makes rituals the perfect way to set exercise routines on autopilot, making them a natural part of your day rather than another thing we have to set aside energy to do. Rituals are proven to reduce anxiety and increase confidence, this makes them a perfect tools to have in your well-being toolkit.


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Pre-programing your workouts before you get to the gym is an excellent way to set up rituals in order to reduce effort. If you do the same warm-up and cool-down every week, those are two less things you need to put energy into when it’s time to shift gears. Then, if you have 3-5 workouts for every component of fitness (strength, power, endurance, etc.) as long as you progress your workout by changing the variables (reps, sets, rest), you have pre-determined workouts that you can select and perform without wasting effort determining what to do.


Rituals can also be performed before your workout and after. If you make a habit of packing your gym bag with the same gear and placing it in your car or by your door in the evening, then all you have to do is grab it as you head to work. A similar scenario can be established for after your workout. For instance, after every workout you stretch and grab a protein shake. If you do this ritual every time, it’s one less thing you have to put effort into, it’s one less obstacle in your way.


This same fitness hack can be applied to sports practice or a game. If competition stresses you out, by establishing rituals, it’s one less variable in an already high-stimulation activity. If you get nervous or anxious before an athletic event, controlling variables by establishing rituals reduces things you need to worry about. If before every competition, you pack and prepare the same way, what is there to worry about. Simply execute what you know works. Don’t change things up on game day, stick to the plan and if you want to make slight adjustments, do so during less stressful competitions or practice, but during game day, stick to your rituals and have one less thing to worry about.



Always improve,


Chris



P.s. Did you know I offer full online coaching? Either paired with in-person or as a separate long-distance coaching plan, I can put together a program for you and monitor your progress using the latest in online coaching software. Most of your workouts and daily activities are automatically uploaded via your smartwatch, all you have to do is follow the plan and see the results.

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