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Mind and body skills

Mind and body skills. Part of your constant skill enhancement is that you strive to improve your fitness, mentally and physically. In short: your mind and body skills! Both are essential for peak performance of an individual.

Many people strive for peak performance to achieve their goals in life. Let us look at the definitions for mental fitness and physical fitness.

Mental fitness? It is a state of well-being and having a positive sense of how we feel, think, and act. It means keeping your brain and emotional health in tip-top shape. (Wikipedia)

Another definition…

“Mental fitness is a personal framework for understanding what we can do, as individuals, to build a happier and more productive life.” (Flinders University)

When you are mentally fit, you can make good solid decisions.

Physical fitness? It refers to the ability of your body systems to work together efficiently to allow you to be healthy and perform activities of daily living. (Human Kinetics).

Another definition… a long one…

It is defined as the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, not only at a set point in time, but at various ages and stages within a person’s life cycle. (New World Encyclopaedia)

fitness is part of personal development

Good mind and body skills…imperative for top performance

The current pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another. We have all had to negotiate and face new challenges, and that is putting it mildly. Resilience describes our ability to cope with and thrive in the face of these kinds of unexpected pressures. (

Mental fitness and resilience

Mental fitness, mental health, mental strength, and psychological resources are exchange terms. It leads unequivocal to resilience. (Danny Boga)

There is a clear relationship between psychological resources and resilience. (Rand Corporation)

This is exactly what mental strength is all about – the ability to remain calm and composed under pressure and you are not stifled still in the face of adversity. (Anastasia Belyh)

Physical fitness and resilience

Physical fitness is one pathway toward resilience because it is associated with many traits and attributes required for resilience. (Patricia Deuster and Marni Silverman)

Many research findings confirm that regular exercise enhances resilience. (The Centre for Personal Performance)

Sporting activities can bring about a long-term improvement in cognitive performance across all age groups. (University of Basel)

It is well known that a healthy body houses a healthy mind.

Mind and body skills

How to become mentally fit

Mental strength does not just happen. It has to be developed. Here are 15 effective abbreviated ways to become more mentally strong and to grow in your personal development:

1.     Focus on the moment. The challenges that come along from time to time are a test of your willingness to stretch and change. Focus your energy on the present moment.  

2.     Embrace adversity. Mental strength gives you the ability to see the obstacles in your path as steppingstones. It is not a dead end but a path to deeper knowledge and understanding.

3.     Exercise your mind. Growth and development take consistent work, and if you have not pushed yourself recently, you might not be growing as much as you can.

4.     Challenge yourself. Albert Einstein once said, “One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.”

5.     Respond positively. You cannot control everything that comes your way, but you are in absolute control of how you react to that.  What happens to you is important–but not as important as your response.

6.     Be mindful. Mindfulness means taking control of your focus and being intentional about what you give your attention to. To be the most resilient and mentally strong, make the time to be mindful.

7.     Do not be defeated by fear. To be mentally fit means knowing how to deal with fear. When you enter frightening situations with the awareness that it is an opportunity for you to grow, trust outweighs fear.

8.     Be aware of self-talk. Make a point of being as positive and supportive of yourself as you are of others, because when times get tough you must be able to believe you can make it through.

Good mind and body skills: they do not happen overnight…

9.     Rid yourself of cannot. When you feel like you cannot do something, keep your focus positive. You just have to do it.

10.  Stumble toward success. Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Perseverance gives you the ability, any challenge, any setback without being defeated.

11.  Find solutions. There will be always problems– but if you can learn to focus 90 percent of your time on solutions and only 10 percent on problems, you will be able to respond effectively.  

12.  Be grateful. In the business of our busy lives we neglect many of the basic concept of recognition, but gratitude gives us fortitude. Gratitude can transform any common day into a thanksgiving day.

13.  Brace yourself for the storms. Adversity is inevitable. Be as well-prepared as you can so you can fight them with strength and push through to blue skies.

14.  Define your moments. When you find yourself doubting how far you can go, remember how far you have come. Give yourself credit for everything you have faced and for the fears you have overcome.

15.  Make it an everyday pursuit. Most mental strength is built and demonstrated not in exceptional circumstances but in the day-to-day of life and leadership. (Lolly Daskal)

How to get physically fit?

Google is full of thousands of programs. The safest is to first consult with your doctor before you embark on your fitness endeavours. You must be realistic in your goals and do not expect to quench years of indulgence in a session or two.

So, you want to become a lean, mean, toned and fit machine? Good for you! Below are some indicators that you can consider:

Cardio. The best way to become toned and fit is to focus on cardio where your heartbeat increases and watch that fat burn away. If you run or walk, ensure you have the correct shoes.

Weight. When you do cardio, you burn fat, but you also lose muscles. To balance it all out, lift some weights, but try to maximize the weight and to get as many reps as possible.

Weight no, body fat yes. When trying to get fit, many people make the mistake of only keeping track of their body weight. You should, instead, keep track of the amount of body fat, as the less you have the more fit you become.

Eating habits. It matters whether you are eating when hungry or out of boredom of habit. Only eat when you are hungry, and stop the second you feel full.

Food. Do not speculate about healthy or unhealthy food. Obtain a list from a dietician to incorporate as many different fruits and vegetables. This will help that you get lots of vitamins and fibres, and they are low on calories. A win both ways!

Rest. Do not just exercise non-stop. You need to rest, and your body needs it too in order to function properly. Being well-rested is just as important as exercising regularly, so do not push yourself too hard.

How long does it take to get a toned body?

There is no definite answer. It all depends on you as an individual. Your commitment. The longer you exercise, the better you will look, the better you will feel, and that is it, no wisdom to it.(Fit Athletic Club)

The road to mental and physical fitness will take time and could be very enjoyable depending on the attitude with which it is approached. When reached, it will be a big achievement for your skill maintenance.

Take care of your mind and body skills and they will reward you when you need them.