Are You Taking Advantage Of The Spillover Effect?

A couple of months ago, I decided I really needed to focus more on my own workouts. I was teaching regularly (pole, PiYo, and flexibility) and in a regular flexibility training class on top of that, but it was hard for me to get into as many other pole classes as I wanted to. I felt like although I was pretty active, I wasn't necessarily putting in the time for my own workouts.

I decided to commit to a month of working out at home, in addition to my regular classes, and purchased a four week program from Fitness Blender to help me stay on course.


Me, happily crashing after another killer lower body workout.

The program was great but what really struck me was how it impacted other areas of my life. I got to experience--for the first time in a while--the magic that is the Spillover Effect. This phenomenon occurs when the energy from your fitness routine starts to spill over into other areas of your life. For example, if working out regularly also causes you to start eating better or keeping your house tidy or writing your novel, you're experiencing the Spillover Effect.

In my personal experience, and from working with clients, I've found that this phenomenon is especially prominent when starting something new. Sure, you can experience it when you're totally into your regular workouts as well, but there's just something about that extra boost that comes from diving into a new program or plan. When I worked my way through the Fitness Blender program, I found that I was extra thoughtful about what I ate (and even did some food tracking along the way), was more productive in my work (way less procrastination!), and in a better mood overall (a benefit of exercise, of course, that impacted all areas of my life).

So how do you take advantage of it?

Be a beginner.

Anytime you're trying something new, you have an opportunity for that "fresh start" feeling. Take advantage of it! Whether you're trying a new workout or experiencing something new in your regular fitness regiment (like training for your first pole invert), use that excitement and energy to fuel other areas of your life. Let the spill over happen.

Notice the tiny changes.

Discover that once you've already worked out you suddenly feel motivated to do a little meal prep? Or find that you're finally inclined to test out one of those green smoothie recipes you saw online? Realize that when you work out in the morning you get along way better with your spouse in the evening? These little changes might pass unnoticed if you're not looking for them since they don't have the hallmarks of a huge transformative experience. But they add up! Pay attention to how other areas of your life are impacted by your workout.

Don't give in to overwhelm.

Does starting a new workout program make you want to do a big diet overhaul? That's normal. You want to take the success that you're experiencing in one area of your life and let it transform other areas too! Enjoy it--but don't let yourself get caught up in overwhelm from trying to do too many things at once. Remember, the small, consistent changes are what help you to make long-term lifestyle changes. While you might be tempted to try a completely new workout plan while totally revamping your diet, there's always the risk that this will cause more stress than success. Let yourself enjoy making those tiny changes and watch how the transformation occurs over time.