At Empowered Wellness Camps, we teach our young adult and teens to love their bodies by performing body scans , adding in rest days, and being mindful when doing exercise to reduce injuries and help create a mind-body connection.
Hiya! Lets continue the conversation about body listening practices. We can really help cultivate that mind-body connection by bringing some mindfulness into our active lifestyle.
Bringing some mindfulness into the gym, for example, will both elevate your workout AND develop those listening skills. The muscles in your body only turn on in response to your brain and nervous system telling them to. Therefore, if you really concentrate by using mindfulness, on activating all the right muscles when you are doing an exercise, you will train those nerve-muscle connections to work more effectively, strengthen those muscle groups more efficiently and build an overall deeper brain-body connection.
Boom, better listening skills and a stronger you!
If you aren’t sure what muscle groups to focus on for a given exercise, get comfortable asking a trainer in your gym, who will be happy to point you in the right direction, and show you proper form!
Don’t be shy!
You can also use the internet to find some good videos! Or feel free to message me!
Slow it Down
Mindful exercise is about more than just the exercising itself.
Consider the environment you create and how minimizing distractions and slowing things down might help your focus. Loud music can distract us from training properly and safely, for example.
I can tell you from experience, some of the stupider injuries I’ve accumulated have happened when I’m lost in outrageously loud music, and not paying attention to what my body is doing and feeling.
If you are lost in your music, you might be doing something out of habit, and that could be the wrong pattern to reinforce. Or worse, an unsafe one!
So, keep an eye out for how music affects your form and whether or not your attention is primarily on rocking your set or belting out the chorus to that Tay Swift love ballad.
If it’s distracting, maybe turn down the volume, find a less intense tune, take a dance break (this is my best go-to strategy) or turn it off for a set to quietly check your form.
Whatever you are doing, BREATH!!
On top of that, consider where your head is at when you are at the gym. If you are rushing to get out the door because you have to be somewhere, or your mind is wrapped up in studying for finals, you won’t be doing your body or your workout any justice.
Much of your attention will be focused on something far away from your bench press, and not on executing the move the way its meant to be done, safely.
If you catch your mind wandering, close your eyes and take a couple deep breaths. Come back into your body and begin again fresh!
Gym time is for you and your body to feel good!
So practice giving your body the space and attention it needs to enjoy that time thoroughly. Alright, now go have fun with it!