Physio News

Thinking Yourself Into Shape

Many people think that fitness begins in the gym. However, research suggests that it starts much nearer to home i.e. in one’s head. It is only by igniting and maintaining one’s motivation to make changes in life, to become more active and to eat more healthily that will guarantee one’s fitness goals. The trick is to find ways to enjoy exercise and discover the pleasures of good eating; once you fall in love with real food and the buzz you get from exercising you will never want to give them up.And that’s the best way to stay in shape forever.

 I would like you to walk with me in exploring how to find ways to set realistic and achievable aims to counter cravings, maintain motivation and above all to boost the amount of pleasure you will enjoy in life.

  • To start thinking yourself in shape, stand back and take a look at where you are now and where you like to get to
  • Don’t worry if you have tried to get fit or lose weight in the past but have given up, there are easy ways to change your perception of yourself so that you start to feel and act like a winner.
  • Release your imagination, focus on keeping your mind in a positive frame, then be clear about your goals and try not to give up before you have achieved them.

You’ve already begun

By walking this far with me, you’ve already started to live a more healthy life; congratulate yourself. Research has found that people who tell themselves they are healthy and active tend to maintain a healthy lifestyle on long-term basis.

Use your imagination

Close your eyes and imagine yourself pounding effortlessly along a beautiful beach-Smell the ozone, sense the endorphins coursing through your body, feel the breeze cooling your brow, imagine your heart beating strongly and your lungs expanding. If you can feel this good just thinking about it, you are already on your way to being an active person.

Assess your aims

What did you want to achieve, write down your answer. Make your aims specific: Not just to lose weight or get fitter, but, for example; to get into last year’s bikini, tone my upper arms or eat more vegetables. Set yourself a time scale for achieving each goal.

Write Your Personal Fitness Goal

My goal is to (Write one favorite activity here) for at least (minutes / day), (Number of times) each week. Research has shown that people who set specific goals lost significantly more weight than people who were vague about their aims.

Think positive

Use active verbs and positive words to describe your goals: “I will eat healthier; rather than I’d benefit from losing a few pounds”. Saying what you are going to do fixes the intention more effectively in your unconscious mind and dispels negative thinking.

Mantra for the day

Set yourself an objective and repeat it over and over. For example; “Today I will stand rather than sit; walk rather than stand; jog rather than walk; and run rather than jog.”

Watch your waistband

Look at where you put on weight. Fat deposited around the abdomen is especially hazardous to health, so when your waist band get tight then it’s time to act.

Waist –to- Hip ratio

The relationship of your waist to your hips is a good indicator of whether your heart is in good shape. Measure around the narrowest part of your waist, then the widest part of your hips and buttocks. Use a calculator to divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement. For women, having a score of more than 0.8 increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes (For men, the ratio is more than 1).

Keep a food diary

Start a food diary with three columns: what you ate, where you ate, and with whom; how you felt after you have eaten. After a week look back at the patterns. Do you eat less healthily when watching TV or when you are out with friends? Where and when do you eat most healthily? What would it take to replicate healthy eating patterns?


I hope walking this far with me, has helped you to consider strategically formulating an effective personal health policy that will benefit your mind, body and soul. Should you need any further enquiry, you are warmly welcome to our world of adding life to years through physiotherapy.



Written by
PT Hussein Botchway, (PT; MGPA).
EMBA, BSc (Hons PT), PG Cert (MT), GBC (IT).
Physiotherapist and Head,
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
St John of God Hospital,
Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana.

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Work Telephone: +233–246-663206,



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