Fitness: Balanced Workouts, by Sandra O’Brien

We have neared the end of the Canadian summer weather! I love the sun and sand as much as I do the snow and cold winds. There is much beauty and peace to be found in both ends of the spectrum.

It is easy to get lost in the heaviness, boredom, and at times repetitive actions of our fitness regimes. Pushups, Squats, Planks, Chatarungas, Lunges, T-Planks, Crow. I mean really, how many burpees can you do mechanically before you lose your mind? Thoughts can take over the benefits, and even enjoyment, of these movements if we get stuck in our head too much.

The dictionary defines Equilibrium as a state of feeling of “mental balance; composure.”

No matter what our bodies are subjected too, it is our thoughts that will dictate if the experience is a “good” or “bad.”

There are many ways we can keep our workouts balanced, both mentally and physically.

I always have a more productive and enjoyable workout if I know my “why.” Why am I taking the time to sweat and do something that sometimes feels like torture? I do it because it produces results that sitting on my ass in front of the tv never will. I feel strong, my body gets tighter, I have less aches and pains than when I don’t keep my muscles moving. I do it because it forces me to live in the “now.” I am forced to focus on my breath and the sensations of my body, I get out of my head and am very aware of what is in front of me now. The only thing I need to deal with is the here and now.

I drink three litres of water every day, and bring water to my workouts. I eat well to ensure I have enough energy to perform the movements I wish to do. When things get tough, feeling like I can’t go on, this is where the workout really begins. I have the choice, as we all do, to beat myself up, to fall into the trap of thinking, “This is too hard, I can’t go on. I am too tired to continue. I am so out of shape, there is no use.” There are so many excuses we can tell ourselves to halt the opportunity of a great experience in each workout.

Or I can choose thoughts to support my efforts, as I would a best friend. I can listen to my body and rest when I really need to. I can tell myself, I am working to the best of my current ability and I know with each movement, I am getting closer to my goal, becoming stronger and releasing stress and toxins from my body.

I can view an intense fitness session as work, a burden, something I dread doing. Or I can go into it with wonder, expectation of learning something new about my body’s capabilities and my own ability to dig deep and find space to create joy in each session. You have the ability to balance your thoughts with the energy of your body, to create a workout that fills you up, and allows you to feel a sense of true accomplishment. Maintaining your composure when the going gets tough, is just a thought away.

Sandra-photoSandra O’Brien is mother to the world’s three most fabulous children. She is also a Law of Attraction Life Coach, Personal Trainer, yoga instructor, published author and Reiki healer. Her work has been featured on CityLine Television, and The Toronto Star. She is owner of Muskoka Hot Yoga, and Muskoka Goddess, offering hot yoga, tabata bootcamps, personal training and coaching. She created the Goddess Creation system, a female fitness program to blowtorch body fat, sculpt sexy lean muscle and empower women everywhere to be the best version of themselves, inside and out. She enjoys dancing, reading, hiking in the forest, meditation.
For more information on Sandra, please visit www.muskokahotyoga.com.