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Guest Post: Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Posted Oct 04 2011 8:00am
Today's guest post is by my personal trainer, Cindy Lai, of Cindy Lai Fitness .
As human beings, we are wired to seek comfort in all aspects of our life.  Day in and day out, we follow familiar behaviors and patterns in order to feel comfortable in our own skin.  When something threatens to break that pattern, we become nervous or stressed out.  Quite often, many of us choose to avoid these negative feelings by continuing to live life the same way and even reject change.  How can a person grow if he or she does not break out of his/her comfort zone?  Quite frankly, it just won't happen.

As a fitness motivator and a coach, I am constantly pushing my clients and my students to new fitness levels they may be afraid to reach themselves.  As Thomas Edison stated “We shall have no better conditions in the future if we are satisfied with all those which we have at present.” 
Although it is very important to establish a strong foundation when building your fitness level, it is just as important to break out of that comfort zone.  If you wish to take your fitness performance to the next level, you need to incorporate those elements of your program which you often neglect or don't like to do.
This can be anything from various types of cross training such as strength training, cardiovascular endurance, balance, flexibility and mobility work.  Also, change up your routine!  If you've been doing the same program week after week or year after year without pushing or really challenge yourself, you're wasting your time.  The same boring fitness routine will serve you no purpose as you have already plateaued and you will not see any major improvements over time.
It's nice to have a sense of accomplishment with all the things that we do in life.  If you had stayed the same person over the years and never stepped outside of your box, it would be very hard to grow personally, professionally and also on a fitness level.  It often feels better to be safe than to confront the unknown.
People who adapt this philosophy will always stay at the same level and may never be satisfied with their fitness goals.  Change can be scary but it's also great for you.  So long as you are not doing anything to place yourself in immediate danger, take a chance and change up your entire routine!  Experiment to see what works best for you.  Work on your weaknesses so that they become your strengths.  Sign up for a race, a bike tour, an obstacle course or some other recreational activity which you have never done before.  Spice up your workouts by fitting in some high intensity interval training such as the Tabata method to shock your system. 
Anything is possible and nothing is impossible.  The confidence we build in exercising also leads to a better mindset in other areas of our lives.  Any task we can accomplish on a physical level can always be transferred to a mental level.  What we need to keep in mind is that we should be open to obstacles, challenges and change.  How we push ourselves to overcome every obstacle will help us become better individuals.  The idea is to never stop growing so you can always continue to learn.  In order for that to happen, you cannot allow yourself to stay comfortable for too long.

Cindy Lai is a certified personal trainer*, motivator, and fitness enthusiast whose services include Cindy Lai Fitness Boot Camp®, Kettlebell Boot Camp by Cindy Lai®, personal one-on-one fitness training and a unique kettlebell strength and conditioning class designed especially for capoeira enthusiasts.  Cindy has always had a strong passion for fitness, helping people to reach their goals and empowering themselves through strength and wellness, all while having fun. Through dedication and hard work, she continually strives to enrich the lives of her clients and students with a healthy attitude and a better lifestyle.

Cindy began her career in the business world, but it left her unfulfilled.  Discovering her love of fitness, Cindy changed careers as well as her life, and made herself the motivational force that she is today!  With almost 15 years in the fitness industry, Cindy’s passion for health and wellness motivated her to form Cindy Lai Fitness Boot Camp® and Kettlebell Boot Camp by Cindy Lai®. Cindy designed her own unique program for mainstream fitness that combines all of her interests:  strength and conditioning, TRX, kettlebells, Crossfit, Pilates, kickboxing, boxing, Muay Thai, capoeira, functional training, injury prevention and rehabilitation, weight loss and running.

Cindy is continually challenging herself, learning new techniques and skills to provide her clients with the best possible fitness instruction while incorporating all of her training elements into her programs in unique and exciting ways
 For more information on Cindy and her training programs, visit Cindy Lai Fitness
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