Are you dreading boring workouts?
There are so many things to pay attention to for healthy movement habits that there’s no way we should ever have boring workouts!
Do you realize that there are 206 bones in the human skeleton? (Actually 270 at birth and, as some fuse together, we’re left with 206 bones as adults and amazingly one-quarter of these are in the feet!) We have 640 skeletal muscles, and almost everyone is one part of a pair of identical bilateral muscles found on both sides, which equals 320 pairs of muscles to support our structure and help us move through life.
Now let’s talk senses… do you know how many senses you actually have? Most of us are taught that we have 5 different senses: sight, hearing, tough, taste, and smell. But did you know that many neurologists identify nine or more, and some believe we may have as many as 21 different senses.
The sense of touch combines several “somatic” senses including the perception of pressure, heat, and pain. Then we have “interoceptive senses” which help us analyze information from inside our body, including balance (body alignment), needs (like hunger or thirst), and proprioception (being aware of the position of our body parts in relation to space.) All our senses are designed to keep track of everything that is right or wrong with our bodies.
Let’s face it we have a lot of moving parts and pieces to organize and keep in alignment for good posture and healthy movement habits. Your mind-body connection, and being able to sense what is going on, inside and outside your body is VITAL for preserving your good health.
Why is all this important? Well, LOOK at how many parts and pieces you have to PLAY with! How can you possibly get bored with 640 different muscles to work and stretch, plus a set of lungs and your heart to strengthen, joints to keep mobile, and a brain to train. Add paying attention or “sensing” what is happening with your body, to your body, how you feel when you use your body, or when you tweak and exercise, what else is affected by the change…how do you think paying some amount of attention to all of this might affect your boring workouts?
It can be MIND Blowing, what focusing attention on the little details of what you’re doing can actually do to help you maximize results from your health and fitness program. When you’re actually paying attention to what your body is doing, it’s honestly quite difficult to be bored.
Which is why I love Pilates! With Pilates, the goal is to always make the last repetition your best one! Which means you learn to leave your muscles with good memory, or the sense of how to do the movement correctly – to the best of your ability. By sensing your fatigue level, and knowing when you stop (before you’re too tired to finish on the best rep ever), the body learns how to pace your workouts, sense the difference between effort/work, and overwork/pain which can lead to injury. With the right muscles doing the work, the body is learning how to move well, which long-term means improvements in strength and flexibility, less wear-and-tear, and a greatly reduced risk of injury. In addition, Pilates exercises are done lying down, seated, standing, kneeling, side lying, prone, right-side up, and upside down, so the body has to learn how to use the right muscles regardless of where the body is in space.
I’m going out on a limb here and want to say it’s impossible to be bored during a Pilates workout. (If you’re with a good teacher who is focused on keeping YOU focused, and challenging you with the right exercises and cues to fine-tune your form.) But this Pilates philosophy for mind, body, and movement isn’t just for Pilates, it can be applied to everything you do! Pay attention, and actively participate. Engage your brain and body on every exercise you do. When you make this connection, you will never trudge through any more boring workouts. In effect, by zeroing in on what you’re sensing during both exercise and daily life, you can learn to “TRUST” yourself. And trust is a very powerful ally to keep you on track for making healthy decisions in life.
Here are my suggested 6 Pilates Strategies to Stop Boring Workouts:
- Focus on your Breath Patterns for every exercise.
- Pay attention to improving your Posture and Body Alignment.
- Sense what you Feel when you work & release your muscles, and how it affects your movement. Can you feel the opposing pairs of muscles working in harmony? Are the right muscles doing the work? Is there any unnecessary tension held anywhere? Are the right and left sides of your body putting forth and equal amount of effort?
- Strive to make the Last Repetition of every exercise the BEST Rep.
- Stay Focused on what your body is doing to move well! Minimize distractions, and concentrate.
- If you really don’t enjoy the activity you’re doing, switch gears, find something else to do. You have lots of options, make a better choice.
Put your brain and body to work during every workout and I promise you will never have to worry about boring workouts again!
Add a little fun to your fitness program with the Pilates Arc Barrel and “Barrel of Fun” training guide from Centerworks.com.