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Life

5 Stay-Focused Strategies

Improve your health and lifestyle by becoming more mindful.

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A kick-butt workout, even when it’s Monday morning. A protein-packed, muscle-building lunch, without the cookies on the side. And just the right amount of energy to get you through the day. Stick to these rules and experience all the health benefits of living a mindful, active lifestyle.

Pay attention.

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Not to the girl chatting away on her cell phone one treadmill over. Instead of listening to her boyfriend drama, learn to listen to your body. Become aware of the signals your muscles are sending in response to your workout by focusing on your breath, movement and form.

Slow down.

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We’re all for upping your pace on the elliptical, but don’t rush yourself into compromised quality. Clear your schedule ahead of time to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time in the gym and at the dinner table. Bonus: It’ll help you avoid injury – and stains on your T-shirt.

Zone in.

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Think only about the task at hand. If your time in the weight room is spent going over the last conversation you had with your boss, you might as well not be there at all. Stay on track by keeping your thoughts on your exercise.

Look deeper.

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You don’t have to have the meaning of life all figured out, but you should be able to answer the following questions: Why do I work out? How do the various exercises make me feel? Why do I get the munchies late in the evening? Tapping into the answers could tell you that you’re working out for specific gains (which you can use as motivation) or that you’re eating because you’re stressed or bored (so that you can find other ways to combat these feelings).

Prep your environment.

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You wouldn’t just walk into a store and pick the first dress off the rack, so don’t just walk into your kitchen and start eating. Take some time to minimize all distractions: Clean the clutter from the table, shove the newspaper to the side and turn off the television in the living room. In the gym, pre-program your equipment, choose all your weights and have your water bottle on hand. Clear anything that could divert your attention during a workout or meal.