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Tagged "exercise"


How to be present while exercising

I’ve always been an advocate for doing multiple things at once: whether working out while listening to podcasts or talking on the phone while cooking a delicious dinner – metaphorically killing two birds with one stone has long been the ultimate goal. But recent research has begun to make a compelling argument that these “productivity” habits could be ruining my overall happiness and indeed causing a destruction of said productivity. Say what?

On my way to the market on a beautiful Saturday morning, I was enjoying my walk while listening to a podcast: this one was on happiness. It began with Pharrell's infamous song, ‘Happy’, and featured a number of talented speakers in bite-sized interview. Before I knew it, my mind had quickly become distracted by all the textures, colours, smells and vibrancy – I picked up a broccoli and I was transfixed.

“… Mind-wandering can lead to anxiety and stress …”

I was starkly brought back to reality. What had I just missed in the podcast? Which broccoli do I want? Do I even want broccoli?

I tried to listen to the podcast while picking the best vegetables, but it all began to be too much: my mind-wandering had turned an enjoyable experience into a stressful one. I paused the podcast and took my headphones off. I was going to be present and enjoy the market in all its delight.

Have you experienced this before? Maybe you’ve been eating while scrolling through your phone. Are you able to enjoy the food that you’re eating? Or are you more interested in digesting the information that you’re consuming? What happens when you  slow down, and embrace both of the incredible experiences on their own?

We get it. We’ve become a much stronger and efficient species. Having your dream job is now no longer enough – you’ve also got to have a perfect diet, be a great runner, dancer, weight trainer, all of the above and more!

But let’s be honest: you don’t need to do all that. In fact, you don’t need to do anything.

Be yourself, and be present. Slow down and reflect on the activities that you do day-to-day – do you really enjoy them? If you do, fantastic! Continue to embrace them and do it all! If you don’t, that’s okay, too. Figure out if you really need to do these things and ask yourself, will being present help you enjoy it more?

How to be present

It’s all well and good to talk about being present and mindful, but what exactly does this entail?

“A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

In other words, mindfulness and being present is all about slowing down and thinking carefully about what you are actually doing, and trying to listen to that inner voice inside – taking control of your thoughts and your mind.  

With only a few spare minutes you can strengthen and practise mindfulness daily. Let’s do this together, right now:

  1. Close your eyes and to focus on your breathing.
  2. Breathe in and out, counting each breath and relaxing your body.
  3. Clear your mind and embrace this present state.
  4. When you find your mind wandering, go back to counting. Keep counting to ten, and start again until your mind is clear.
  5. Once you feel satisfied, open your eyes and thank your body, mind and soul for your first simple experience of mindfulness.

The next step we suggest is trying meditation.

For all of you Yogis out there, namaste.

Practising yoga focuses on your breath while stretching your muscles. Not a fan of the downward dog? Then you’ll love meditation apps such as Headspace, or our favourite, Smiling Mind (free on the app/android store). Smiling Mind guides you through various meditations and develops your practice through a number of short five-minute programs. You can even practise mindfulness while eating, taking in all the textures, smells and flavours when the food is in your mouth. This is a form of meditation, considering where the food came from, who nourished it and the adventure this food took to get into your hands. Reflecting on these simple experiences helps steady your mind, while also practising gratitude.

The next time you do exercise, don’t listen to any music. Even if you're dancing in the studio, let the music come from your mind, feel how your limbs want to move this way and that, be present, be bold, be in control and embrace every moment.
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How to get started again after a burn out

We all love that feeling of pure euphoria when you’ve accomplished a huge goal. Maybe it’s a bodybuilding competition or an intense dance performance – or it could be as simple as completing a 12-week training session. Either way, the benefits are endless as you emotionally and physically bask in the satisfaction of victory.

But what happens next?

You’ve conquered your goal, but what is the next stage? In order to take control of your life and the endless possibilities it offers, you need to be strategic and think about your next steps. Otherwise, you could welcome a burn out ...

Getting started after a burnout with Be Your

Last year, I completed my first full 42km marathon. I trained solidly for a year, running in the weekends and limiting myself to certain foods (which made eating out an anxious experience). I was on a mission; it encompassed my whole being and sense of purpose.

I hadn’t even considered what would happen after the marathon.

Because of this, I went from Hero to Zero. A few months later, I realised that I was suffering from burn out, and needed to get myself back on track.

Burn out is described by Help Guide as “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, constant stress, or a feeling of bring overwhelmed.”

When you’re over-stressed, you can still see the light at the end of the tunnel. But when you’re burnt out, the light is very dim, and the length of the tunnel continues to grow. In extreme cases you may even isolate yourself, struggle for your sense of purpose and ultimately find yourself on the road to depression. (If you, or any friends or family need urgent assistance with this please call Life Line Australia on 13 11 14)

Post-marathon, I’d blobbed out, developed unhealthy habits, and suddenly didn’t really like the people around me. I finally understood the importance of healthy habits and having a sense of purpose and gratitude. 

Will I run another marathon? Absolutely. Because on the whole journey, I’ll be checking in with myself, aligning with my sense of purpose and using these five pillars to a healthy, motivated life:

How to get started again after a burn out

1. Plan to succeed

Conquer your mission daily with strategic planning

What is your mission, who do you want to be known as, and what are you doing daily to achieve this?

One of my biggest trip-ups was not planning what to do post-marathon. Plans take time and constant change.

You may realise, for example, while training for a marathon that you’d actually prefer to do a triathlon. That’s perfect! While training for the marathon, I was so distracted about crossing the finish line, that I forgot to look at the bigger picture: a healthy lifestyle. Now, every Sunday I check in with myself and break down large tasks to spread them across the week.

Here are some amazing tips and even an app to help you with weekly planning and goal setting.

2.Self care and gratitude

Mindfulness Meditation

Tell yourself right now one thing that you are thankful for.

Self care and gratitude are imperative, and the relationship you have with yourself is the most important. Every morning and evening I take time practise gratitude and self-love. We are incredible, wonderful human beings, and it’s important to appreciate ourselves. Practising gratitude will will recharge and invigorate you, so that after conquering your goals you will have the energy to be thankful and embrace what follows next.

We love Smiling Mind, a free app to try Mindfulness Mediation - whether you have five minutes or an hour. And here is a simple guide to get started writing your own gratitude journal.

3.Diet

Nourishing from the inside

What is your relationship with food? Do you eat food that nourishes your body, or do you go for short-term highs?

I went from a restricted diet to an all-you-can-eat diet within days. It was pretty gross, and I know now that it was because I had an unhealthy relationship with food. Instead of nourishing and listening to my body, I ate with my eyes all of the sugar and junk within reach. Savouring and enjoying a variety of different foods will ensure a positive move here - and, no kidding, it actually does taste better!

Here is a great healthy eating plan - it's wonderfully balanced, too.

4.Exercise

Do what feels good!

How do you love to move?

Exercise comes in various forms and movements, and we are so thankful for this that it's the cornerstone of our clothing range! It’s great to mix yoga into some weight training with a little bit of running. Whatever your style is, it’s important to make sure you get at least thirty minutes a day. This will help you clear your mind and get your blood pumping!

Fitness Blender is a great resource of free, unlimited videos of exercises that you can do at home. And be sure to check out your community halls for any other free or discounted classes.

5.Socialise

Build a community and embrace new experiences

How to spend your spare time?

In order to incorporate balance, it’s important to regularly tap into your passion. If you love painting, take time out daily to practice this. If you’re unsure of your passion, take time to play with a new style, or do some knitting or writing

Most important of all, take some friends with you! Together you’ll enjoy exploring and finding out what you like, and don’t like …

Building this social community at the same time will help you support others while being supported in your goals.

Is there someone you haven’t spoken to in a while? Maybe now is the time to reach out!

Because we are all wonderfully unique, these are not hard and fast rules. Please, comment below on how you achieve your goals - how do you practise certain habits daily or reflect on your progress?

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