I understand the benefits of mental focus, trouble is, I am lousy at the practice. I get caught up in the “rabbit trails” you talk about.
It’s called a practice for good reason. Since research has shown our environment contributes up to 70% of the battle in reduce stress and reducing stress hormone levels in the body it’s important to get you in the right environment— surround yourself with the calming effects of nature by attention to your surroundings: colors, textures, the rhythm of the ocean, the crispness of the air, the scent of trees and/or flowers.
Whether you are walking, running, lunging or even sitting concentrate on what is happening at that very moment—every part of it, from how your are breathing, to how the air feels on your skin.
The key is to focus just on the task. This enables your brain to change through what’s called neuroplasticity, and take on this new practice and change your mental focus ability (behavior). Start with one minute and move on from there. If you find that you begin to hop from thought to thought, come back to your breath, your posture, your immediate surroundings.
During the colder months I feel like I don’t perform as well and I lose my motivation during my workout. What can I do to get motivated in cold weather?
Many people experience performance declines—not feeling as strong, as much endurance, or mental focus. It may feel like it has to do with the weather, when in fact, it may be due to dehydration. The cooling effect of air, snow and rain can mask our sense of fluid loss—so we may fail to hydrate during a workout. Add to this the layering of clothing involved, thereby increasing fluid loss through sweat. In fact studies have shown a 4-8% loss of total body mass in athletes working in cold environments. What to do? Follow these three words of advice: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Don’t wait until your thirsty to drink. Drink 8-12 oz before your 30 to 60 minute workout and then immediately following. To prevent dehydration, it is best to sip on fluids throughout the day until urine flows clear to pale yellow.
I am way too busy to exercise. How can I fit it in?
The number one complaint I hear the most – “I don’t have time to exercise.”
Here’s the thing—most people perceive lack of time is the enemy, however, it’s simply not true. Time management is the skill that needs to be addressed. Have you ever noticed the busiest people, get the most done? All it takes is one hour to change your entire life. Get to bed one hour earlier, so that you can get up one hour earlier. The plan–roll out of your bed and into your shoes. Set your gear out the night before.
Don’t make the mistake that so many people make – “I’ll do it later, at the end of the day.” That’s when life can get in the way and you will feel crunched by traffic, kids, family, carpooling, etc.
I stopped training people during the after school and work hours, it just became too frustrating. I only train people first thing in the morning and rarely does anything come between my clients and their workouts.