Our lives are crazy. From working 50+ hours a week, running the kids to practices, going grocery shopping, family functions, emails, and working out it can be hard to clear your mind. We are all trying to be the king of multi-tasking but when it comes to working out, you may be doing more harm than good. That’s why todays key word in mindfulness. “Mindfulness is about being fully aware of whatever is happening in the present moment… mindfulness consists of cultivating awareness of the mind and body and living in the here and now… while mindfulness as a practice is historically rooted in ancient Buddhist meditative disciplines, it’s also a universal practice that anyone can benefit from… some of the greatest benefits of mindfulness come from examining your mental processes in this way, observing them dispassionately, as a scientist would (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).” So now the big question; how do I apply this to my work out?
I like to start by looking at what we are doing pre-workout. As you are driving to the gym start to think about what you plan on doing and plan on getting out of that dedicated time. Put on the proper playlist to help you get motivated and in the correct mood. If I’m going in for a heavy leg day, you’ll hear me jamming to some heavy metal rather than Jewel. Set the mood and commit to it. Remember your fitness goals and how today’s session will contribute to obtaining it.
Once you get to the gym, make a conscious decision to be present during your workout. Try to not be think about the meeting you have tomorrow morning or how many likes you got on your gym mirror selfie you posted to Instagram. Which leads me to my next point; leave your phone in the car or locker. If you are checking Facebook or texting your friend about the weekend coming up, you are not thinking about the next two sets on back squat. Start envisioning what you’re going to be targeting and reviewing the mistakes you made on the previous set. Maybe your breathing was off or you lose the tightness in your core. Whatever it is block out all external factors that have nothing to do with your workout. Set your phone on airplane mode if you must have it with you and get after that workout!
After the workout is over and you are preparing your post workout shake or taking a nice hot shower before heading to work, stop to review what just happened. It doesn’t matter if it’s only 1 or 2 minutes, but reflect on the good and the bad of the workout and make some notes about how you can improve for your next workout. Having to right mindset before, during, and after your workout could increase the quality of your workout tenfold.
– Cody Temples ACE, USAW
Fitness and Nutrition is our Prescription