Monday, July 19, 2010
Mind Over Body
I must tell you that up until a few weeks ago I was really struggling to get back into working out. I had gotten sick right after school ended and completely lost my energy and "will" to start again. During the school year my efforts were not consistent, for many reasons I will call "excuses" and I knew the summer would be a great time to get back into the routine of exercising at least 3-4 times per week. What I didn't realize was how hard it would be to begin, again.
When I ran along the beautiful cliff here about a month ago my lungs burned after a few minutes. No, I don't smoke! I was just way more out of shape than I cared to admit. I began building up my stamina by alternating running with walking and challenged myself to take hills on instead of avoiding them. I began to realize that much of my issue was not my body but my mind. My mind?
My mind is the one who says, "It's okay, you can stop now." My mind is the "excuse maker" the "boredom shouter" and the powerful part of myself I can use in my favor, especially when I get it involved in the pursuit of my exercise goals. I have recently alternated elliptical workouts with walking/running. When I am on the elliptical, an older, squeaky version that isn't the greatest but does the job, I listen to inspiring talks, often those from TED with my wireless headset. I find that when my mind is engaged in learning, it is less likely to sabotage my body's efforts. When I run/walk I listen to music and have also begun carrying a camera, in case I see something that inspires me. Both the music and the artistic fun and curiosity fuel me forward making me less apt to stop from boredom.
So, the next time you are off to exercise, think about how you will engage your mind. And please share how you occupy your mind to keep your body moving toward its goal of health.