Getting In Touch With Your Body
September 21, 2012
If you want to achieve great results from training, concentrate on getting in touch with your body. Creating the mind and body connection has been discussed in several columns throughout the years; however, the concept of getting in touch with your body digs in a little deeper. When we observe a client on a treadmill, reading a book or watching television, this tells us immediately that they are not fully in touch with their body. There is no way they can effectively read and workout simultaneously.
You would not be able to participate in a kickboxing class and read because you must engage fully; paying attention to the instructor or you might get run over by the other participants! And, while I am not suggesting that running or walking on a treadmill or other stationary piece of cardiovascular equipment does not provide benefits to the user, the benefits will be seriously compromised if the user is distracted.
This week we will feature eight strategies for getting in touch with your body during your workouts. Applying these strategies may improve your proprioception (i.e. a sense of the body’s position) and kinesthetic awareness (i.e. a sense of the body’s movement). And, to that point, your efficiency and economy of movement may become enhanced (i.e. if you know where you are at in space and time, you are more likely to get where you want to go!). As you reach the point of truly “getting in touch” with your body during your workouts, you may begin to enjoy your workouts more and receive excellent outcomes as a result. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Eight “Getting In Touch” Strategies
-Turn off your cell phone! There is absolutely no way you can concentrate on your workout if you are constantly checking your cell phone, texting and emailing.
– When utilizing stationary cardio equipment, vary your program. Intersperse the longer time/distance workouts with high intensity interval training which will keep you more fully engaged.
-Use motivating, yet non-distracting music rather than television and books.
-Occasionally, avoid the use of music, particularly when running or walking. Become aware of your surroundings instead and take a “distraction” break from life.
-Avoid chatting with your fellow exercisers during your workout. Socialize afterward.
-Put “blinders” on like a race horse-completely immerse yourself in this moment in time.
-Sensing, thinking, feeling, breathing and visualizing. Sense your surroundings. Where is your body in relationship to the ground, to the equipment? Think about the movement of the body and then feel the movement of the body. Breathe and visualize yourself-how would you look and feel performing this exercise? For example, when performing a pull up, you will notice where the bar is, where your hands are on the bar, suspending your body directly under the bar, elongated spine, engaging your lats by rotating your shoulders down/back, initiating movement from the scapulae, then moving the scapulae toward the spine as you pull up, feeling the scapulae move away from the spine as you lower the body slowly.
-See yourself achieving the results you seek (i.e. crossing the finish line, reaching your goal weight, feeling healthy and strong).
Jackie Wright is the owner and manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.