A Cranial Fitness Routine for 2013

Wednesday, January 02, 2013
By Michele Yurcich
Senior Director, Marketing & Development
Chancellor University

As is my Sunday morning ritual, I sit down with the Akron Beacon Journal and pop out the USA Weekend section of the paper. The article that caught my attention this week was called “Solutions for 4 common fitness ‘mistakes’.” A bright photo of a woman walking in winter gear was accompanied by the statement “10,000 steps per day is an achievable goal” was just enough to make me stop and take a look at the short article.

As I took in the details, I started to realize that fitness mistakes (as the story described them) aren’t much different that the mistakes we make in other areas of our lives. In fact, I found myself thinking the same thing about my own experiences with going back to college after 20 years. Let’s take a look at the arguments:

Fitness Mistake #1: Viewing regimen as temporary. “Many people think that when they achieve their goal, they won’t have to work out or diet anymore.” Really our brains work the same ways our muscles do, and if we settle with getting just enough information to get by, then we’re cheating ourselves out of continuing to grow intellectually. It’s easy to say “Look, I finished high school (or got my associate degree, or my bachelor’s degree) and I don’t need to do anymore.” However, pushing yourself beyond what is expected is making your brain healthy, and building that “brain muscle” by asking it to do more, think more, and learn more. The moral really is Never Stop Learning. Do something every day.

Fitness Mistake #2: Focusing on the negative. “If you go into a new fitness regime wanted to lose weight or be more attractive, you’re focusing on the negative and not how to improve your life.” The decision to do something you’ve never done before, such as pursuing an education or investing in new learning opportunities, can be wrought with the wrong ideas about WHY we want to do something. The bottom line is: learn something because YOU WANT TO, not because someone else expects it of you. Be in control of what goes in your brain and then decide what you can do with it.

Fitness Mistake #3: Dwelling on failure. “When you’ve made six attempts that have failed, trying again can be a challenge.” For the adult learner who is coming back to school after umpteen years like me, we sometimes are surrounded with doubts of “I can’t do this. I’m too old, I’ll never figure it out, I have too many responsibilities, I have to get the kids to …” and so on and so forth; so really we talk ourselves out of trying by making the assumption that it’s not worth our while. But really, how can we change if we don’t allow our brains to be challenged? How can we learn what we’re capable of? Think instead of the successes you’ll have, including the ones that others call failures, because really they are opportunities to reflect and learn what steps we need to make to hit goals.

Fitness Mistake #4: Discounting walking. “Over time, if you’re taking more steps, then you’re making progress. Every step counts.” This is the one that hit me the hardest. I think as part of our culture we all expect instant results, and we don’t take time to appreciate the steps it actually takes to get to where we want to go. Haven’t we all made a habit of running through the drive thru or heating up dinner in the microwave because it’s quicker than planning and preparing a healthy meal? When it comes to learning, your cranial fitness becomes more apparent with each chapter you read, each week you commit, and each class you complete. By taking the steps you need to reach milestones, you have to appreciate what you’ve accomplished. In the long run, the time, the effort, and the dedication is what’s going to make it all worthwhile.

So what do you say? I think it’s time to start an all-out Cranial Fitness Routine.
AUTHOR: Michele Yurcich

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