KEEP FIT When working out, don’t do it blindly; get your mind involved as well to reap the full benefits. AJIT SHETTY
These past few months have been a period of intense learning for me. I have probably spent the most number of hours reading up and experiencing what I’ve learnt so as to give my clients the best workout for their bodies and thereby their minds. Today, spiritual masters and enlightened trainers all talk about giving your 100 per cent to whatever it is you are doing. In a workout too, when you are exercising a particular part of your body, you need to focus on that part. Feel every stretch, feel every contraction and movement in your muscles. Of course, this may sound a little too intense to some. You may wonder what I’m talking about and how one is supposed to ‘feel’ the exercise.
Apply your mind
It works like this — say you are exercising on a treadmill; concentrate on your lower body; notice how your legs move. You don’t have to look at them as you pound the treadmill or you may fall, simply notice how they feel. Shift your attention to your body. Forget all other thoughts. Leave them for the time when you get off the machine. They will be waiting for you, and you will find yourself better able to deal with them. In fact, the solution will come to you making you wonder why you never thought of it before. This in itself is a form of meditation. When you do the task on hand by immersing yourself completely into it such that for the twenty minutes you are on the machine nothing else matters; the rewards you achieve from your exercise will be 100 per cent too. That 45 minutes or so that one spends on oneself is sacrosanct. The world over people are recognising and reorganising their lives to reap the benefits of mind and body workouts at one go.
Why do you think age old practices like Yoga and Tai Chi (to name a couple) are so popular? Because concentration is very much a part of each of them. Slow, controlled movement makes anybody get the form right and the mind concentrating on the posture. At that particular moment, nothing else matters. So deep is the intensity, so thorough the workout that only a couple of minutes in each asana will be enough to keep the body and mind going for the next 24 hours. Similarly, when you are doing strength training, so involved is all of you in lifting, pushing or pulling at the resistance offered, that you have little choice but to pour all of your attention to the task you have set for your body. Often, when you change the kind of exercise your body is used to, the mind kicks in. Your muscles get a workout, but it is a little different than what they previously got. They get a little surprised, and maybe a little happier as well. Because, just like the mind, the body likes variety, too. Change is always welcome, but remember, intense concentration is the key. Not only to success in the area of exercise but in all areas of life as well.
Ajit is the Fitness Director, FitnessOne India Ltd.
Popularity: 1% [?]