Tips to Manage Personal Stress While Achieving Your Fitness Goals

Stress Management

With an over 20+ year career in fitness, Holly Gatto has seen many clients get stressed over their goals. Initially, they get excited about their brand new goals and are going full steam ahead. But, for a lot of people, something happens that halts their progress. 

They lose motivation, they get overwhelmed, they get scared, and they feel down on themselves for not following through on their goals.  All these feelings and emotions cause many people to quit or give up. 

So, what exactly happened?  Often, stress is what is preventing you from reaching your fitness goals and telling you that it’s time to quit. Today, we are going to be exploring how stress can affect your ability to stay healthy and lose weight, and why stress is one of the biggest roadblocks clients encounter. Thankfully with the help of a Pittsburgh personal trainer like Holly Gatto, you can learn to overcome your biggest stressors.

Why is Personal Stress One of the Major Roadblocks to Losing Weight?

A Pittsburgh personal trainer like Holly Gatto knows that working through stress is the key to attaining healthy habits

Personal stress can take many forms, but we can’t let it control our lives.

Stress is one of the most common emotions we feel — and it can come from all aspects of life. Too often, people who are focused, motivated, and ready to start an exercise program will be pulled off track by a stressor from elsewhere in their lives. 

This stress can come in many forms, for example these roadblocks could be a sick child, a sudden illness with a parent, sudden changes in work schedules, or a major upcoming work deadline. These kinds of stressors can all cause a disruption in the daily exercise habits. When these disruptions cause uncomfortable feelings, it leads to even more stressful and overwhelming thoughts. The fear and frustration associated with falling behind on an exercise plan is often enough for some to quit altogether.

The question becomes, if you fall off, make a mistake, or have an outside stressor that affects your schedule — how do you find the motivation to get back on track?

Tips From a Pittsburgh Personal Trainer to Help You Stay on Track and Manage Stress

Sometimes it takes a Pittsburgh personal trainer like Holly Gatto to keep you moving toward your fitness goals

Holly Gatto training photoshoot
Training and health coaching with holly gatto can help you work through stress.

Luckily, there are some tips to get you started and help you stick to a fitness plan. Let’s begin by going over some techniques to stop in-the-moment stressful feelings:

  1. The very first thing that you need to do is stop and find a quiet place to sit down. Remove all distractions — this means your phone — and take a few deep breaths. 
  2. On a notepad or a piece of scrap paper jot down what your roadblock is and why you’re upset. Studies have shown that writing your thoughts out on a piece of paper encourages better memory retention than typing something into your notes app. Only once you have your thoughts written down can you start thinking about solutions.
  3. When you are writing, ask yourself — how did this happen? Is the source of your stress something that you could control or something that you couldn’t control? Why are these roadblocks stopping you? This is not a time to overthink your answers, so just jot down the first things that come to mind. 
  4. Be kind to yourself. As you are writing and analyzing where your stress comes from and how it affects you, try your best not to be judgemental. It can be difficult, but practicing kindness is essential at this step. Often, what prevents people from returning to their fitness plan is negative self talk. To put it simply, if you tell yourself you can’t do it, you won't be able to.

After you have written down your thoughts, feelings, and worries the next step is to use them to get you back on track.

Take Action Based on Your Self Evaluation

By working with a Pittsburgh personal trainer, you can get more in touch with your body and your mind

example list of goals
Once you’ve written down your goals, the next step is to take action.

Action is the most important part of overcoming stress to continue your health and fitness journey. Acting, in this case means doing something rather than not doing nothing at all and remaining stuck.  When you feel stuck you don’t act. That thing that you’ve been avoiding — yeah that one — it's time to act on it. In this case, you should be aware that not everything sticks first try, so be patient with yourself

Another important part of freeing yourself from a stress-induced rut is making your actions sustainable. If you keep trying different actions and find one that does work, you found an action that is sustainable. You can repeat this action regularly until it becomes a positive habit. After this you can refocus on your initial fitness goals and start resuming your exercise plan.

Start Small and Build from There

According to Pittsburgh personal trainer Holly Gatto, starting with short and manageable exercises is a great way to get yourself back on track

workout bag
Take advantage of the short periods of free time to restart your exercise routine.

When trying this new action, make note of any progress or anything you tried that may not have worked. Even if it is something small — make a note of it. The next step is to evaluate how much time it would take to complete the action. To be more specific, let’s take a look at an example from a Pittsburgh personal trainer:

“An example of a small, 5 minute action would be packing a gym bag with your workout clothes.  If you have a deadline at work and must stay late at work, you can always use your lunch break to take a brisk walk or get some reps in at your workplace gym. Packing the bag ahead of time and having that ability to workout for 20 or 30 minutes on your lunch break is the action you need to get yourself back on track. If you find that this action is working for you, then stick with it! Eventually, you’ll be ready to move on to even loftier goals.”

  • Holly Gatto

Learning to fit in exercise and to improve your diet takes work. Not to mention how to deal with the stressors of your career, family, and complicated life. While it won’t be easy — it is always worthwhile to work on your health and fitness. 

With a Pittsburgh personal trainer and a health coaching plan, you’ll get in touch with your body and learn how to stay on track with your health goals. Ready to get started? Get in touch with Holly Gatto Fitness or download the free Health Habits Guideline to start working towards your fitness goals today!

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