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Fit Tip: Create an Intention For Every Workout

One of the things I love about yoga is the tradition of setting an intention for each practice. An intention is something that you revisit whenever your mind starts wandering away from the present, and this is a great thing to include in your everyday workouts to stay focused.

If you've ever missed an interval during a cardio session because of a wandering mind, than you know that staying in the moment helps to get the most out of your workouts. Intentions allow us to maximize the time we have to ourselves — after all, the time we spend working out is often the only time we have for ourselves during the day.

My intentions vary by mood. If I'm feeling like I really want to push myself, I'll set an intention that has to do with strength, and if I've had a particularly rough day, I might realign my intention to focus on inner strength. Do you set intentions for your workouts? Tell me about them in the comments section below.


Join The Conversation
TammyO TammyO 8 years
Sometimes when I run I think of women(just women in general) through the years who never had an opportunity to show off their strength(like women in Victorian times for example). I think, "this run is for all those women who were ever oppressed". It sounds silly I guess but it helps me really push myself harder.
AMP AMP 8 years
My intention is usually to get through the workout!
Advah Advah 8 years
Wow I actually never thought of that, but it's such a great idea! thanks Fit! :)
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 8 years
I tend to listen to sad songs that are slow and have moving lyrics that feel personal to me when I run. The best way to let my emotions out is through physical activity, mainly dance, but running really helps too. And I think, I have this full functioning body, of course I'm able to run so be grateful. Then I have my days when I think of Madonna running, seriously, lol. But usually it's VERY personal and sometimes I want to cry while running but it all comes out with each step.
zmajeva zmajeva 8 years
Fantastic idea!
agrepina agrepina 8 years
the past month my intention has been to fit into my old clothes..and my new jeans that i bought 2 sizes too small.. unfortunately due to finals i havnt been able to hit the gym recently.. i cant wait for all of it to be over to i can start losing some weight!
judiesjuice judiesjuice 8 years
Love this post! I always set an intention during my Yoga practice but it didn't occur to me to do it before my other workouts.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
This is an interesting notion. I'm certainly going to be mindful to do this. Actually . . . I think I do this subconsciously. When I jog, I think to myself that I'm conditioning and shaping my legs. When I'm doing upper body weights, I think I'm shaping and sculpting my upper body. And when I dance, I dance from my heart and soul -- dancing is really a spiritual exercise for me (active meditation, similar to yoga for some people). I'm going to be really mindful about setting intentions, and not be subconscious about it.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I've never heard of this before, but I think I might start trying to identify an intention. As Spectra said, I spend a lot of my time during a workout planning.
alexask alexask 8 years
ooo. i just started doing ashtanga yoga, and it's really nice to dedicate this routine to somebody. i never really did that with running.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Hmmm...I don't really have any intentions when I work out, other than trying to get through my workout knowing I'll feel SO much better when I'm done. I also use my workout time to plan things...what I need to get done at work that day, what I need to get at the grocery store, etc.
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 8 years
Well to be honest... I workout the best when I'm angry. I just think about the things that are making me mad or frustrated with and how I want to change them and prove myself.
Beaner Beaner 8 years
When I run, I often dedicate my workout to a person in my life who needs a little positive energy. My gramma who lost her husband, my girlfriend going through Chemo, or even the grouchy lady at the post office. It motivates me to push myself, and makes me think of the things I have to be thankful for. Aww. . .
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
This is so true...
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