Why do we keep fit? Is it because we’ve read about the benefits online? Is it because our doctor told us we should? Is it because our family and friends recommend us to do so? Is it because we want to achieve the “perfect” body or a 10km charity run?
Whatever the reason, if you’re anything like I was, I’m sure the decision to and the consequent action started with the mind. But what about the body?
Shouldn’t the body get a say in this? And actually, should it not be the body making the decisions, when it’s the body that’s carrying out the manual work?
When you compare this to a company for example, it used to be that the executive made all of the decisions and those doing the day to day work were told what to do without question, no matter how they felt about it. Luckily this is changing, and those carrying out the work are actually having a say and making recommendations to improve processes and hence outcomes for the company as a whole. They are being listened to.
So why are we not listening to our bodies? They’re telling us everything we need to know, to improve our fitness and state of wellbeing as a whole. We just don’t always listen to them.
Let’s start now. For example:
- Is our head hurting? This could be a sign of dehydration, lack of sleep or stress. Our bodies are telling us to slow down and drink more.
- Do our muscles feel stiff and aching? Our bodies are telling us they need some nurturing, some relaxing yoga to stretch them out and activate them in a gentle way.
- Are we out of breath when walking up the stairs? Our bodies are telling us it’s time to start doing this more regularly, practice makes perfect and by practicing and doing it more often we can slowly increase our lung capacity.
- Do our backs hurt regularly? Depending on where the pain is, our bodies could be telling us we need to start doing back strengthening exercises, to try and reverse the posture damage done from sitting at a desk all day, or to increase our general ability to carry more weight without doing any damage.
- Do our muscles hurt after a long run or workout the day before? Our bodies are telling us to take a break today, our muscles need time to recover in order to perform even better next time.
- Do our stomachs hurt because our clothes are getting tighter? Our bodies are telling us to pay attention to our weight, to start being more active in order to burn more calories than we are consuming.
There are endless examples. And of course, with any new or ongoing pain we should ALWAYS consult a doctor.
But the point is let’s spend more time listening to our own bodies – we’re all different, how can anyone else’s mind know what’s best for YOUR body? How can your mind know what’s best for your body if it’s not listening to it properly?
Why do we keep fit? Let’s reconnect our mind to our bodies so we can truly hear and understand what our bodies are telling us to do, in order for them to feel fitter, healthier and happier all round.