Fitness Trail: Getting in touch with your body
If you strive to achieve outstanding 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 may indicate that they are not fully in touch with their body. It is unlikely that they are able to 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. While I am not suggesting that running or walking on a treadmill or other stationary piece of cardiovascular equipment does not provide health and fitness benefits to the user, the benefits may be compromised if the user is distracted.
Here are eight strategies for getting in touch with your body during your workouts. Applying these strategies may improve your proprioception and kinesthetic awareness, or the sense of the body’s movement.
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.
No. 1 — Turn off your cell phone. It is unlikely that you can concentrate on your workout if you are constantly checking your cell phone, texting, and emailing. You need this downtime for your health and wellbeing — so disconnect.
No. 2 — 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.
No. 3 — Use motivating yet non-distracting music, rather than television and books.
No. 4 — Occasionally, avoid the use of music, particularly when running or walking. Become aware of your surroundings instead and take a “distraction” break from life.
No. 5 — Avoid chatting with your fellow exercisers during your workout. Socialize afterward.
No. 6 — Put “blinders” on like a race horse—completely immerse yourself in this moment in time.
No. 7 — 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 positioned on the bar, suspending your body directly under the bar, elongated spine, engaging your lats by packing your shoulders down/back, initiating movement from the wide part of the back extending the shoulder joint and retracting the inferior scapulae, then reverse the process as you lower the body slowly.
No. 8 — Visualize yourself achieving the results you seek, crossing the finish line, reaching your goal weight or feeling healthy and strong.
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