Psychologists have been studying the mind and how it reacts to physical hardship brought on by intense exercise, for decades. All the top athletes in the world have sports psychologists because they recognize that the mind is the weakest link when it comes to performance. In fact, those times when you don’t feel strong enough could be your mind feeding you negative messages.
Fortunately, our minds are able to overcome this pattern through proper mental training. So, when you couple proper physical technique and mental fortitude you can create a fitness plan that brings the results you want. Do consult your healthcare provider before you engage in any new fitness programs or plans. Here are some tips for better fitness technique and mental preparation.
Swimming and Proper Technique
Swimming is an excellent activity for general fitness, weight loss, and physical rehabilitation. But, as with any other type of workout, you need great technique to prevent injury, gain the maximum performance, and not put your body through the stress that will take longer to recover from. Check out the tips in the video for a safe, effective time in the pool.
Remember to keep calm as you’re swimming. Though your mind will continuously be aware of the constant danger the water presents, proper breathing rhythm will help to assure your safety.
Purchase Proper Jogging Gear
The second-most calorie-burning activity is running or jogging. At first glance, it seems easy, doesn’t it? What’s so difficult, you just need to put one foot in front of the other right? Wrong!
What you need to do is to give your body the best gear you can buy and focus on good technique. First of all, you should find out what kind of arch you have in your foot. I highly recommend going to a specialty shoe store to be fitted for running shoes. Trust me, you won’t regret spending a little extra money. Among getting a proper fit and style, there are also three main types of shoe wear that will be a factor in choosing a running shoe.
- Normal pronator – your main shoe wear occurs at the toes and heel.
- Over pronator – your main shoe wear occurs at the outer edge of the heel and inner part of your toes.
- Under pronator – your main shoe wear occurs slightly at the outer edge of your heel, but mainly on the outer side of your toes and arch.
For a better running technique, you should focus on breathing deeply with every single stride. In the beginning, this feels like you’re giving your lungs a workout, too. But this is normal because your rib cage muscles (thoracic) have to expand and contract rapidly, getting used to the motion. This allows your diaphragm to lower and expand your lungs outward as well as downward. Taking in a lot of oxygen will help your muscles from staving off fatigue, running harder for longer.
Your mind needs some help, as well. Focus on what’s in front of you while looking forward, instead of down. When your head is down your hips sink inward, causing your weight to become unstable. Focus on your view and not the pain and fatigue you feel. When your mind is occupied with sights and sounds, it won’t give up so quickly.
A Little Mental Fitness
If you’re a beginner to fitness, you will feel two things: pain and overwhelm. Unfortunately, these two things can cause you to give up quickly. That said, you can get over this hurdle of self-doubt and physical discomfort.
Asking for help and guidance is one way to get ahead of the fitness game. That’s why personal training is so popular among novices and even advanced athletes. A good trainer will help you with not only physical technique but fitness mindset and goal setting.
Track Your Progress
Before you start a new fitness program, make sure to log all of your measurements, weight, body fat, and goals. Additionally, take photos of your body from all angles, as this will help you to see your progress visually. Track your progress week by week or as often as you’re comfortable with. It may also help to use apps that track calories you’ve burned, such as the Adidas running app. It will give you a total every month, and an average per day.