When you work out, whether you go to the gym, yoga studio, bike or any of the other myriad of options available to you, who are you listening to? That may sound like a strange question; but, there are lots of voices that may be influencing your workout behavior.
Do you listen to your trainer or instructor or to the expert you watched on YouTube earlier in the day or to your buddy who is across the gym trying to show you up or any of the other countless voices we hear every day or do you listen to your body?
That’s my point. Our body is generally the last one who gets a vote. Whether you have a personal trainer, instructor or even a physical therapist who is guiding you in your workout, it is imperative you listen to your body over whatever anyone else instructs. Those individuals are there for guidance as you develop your workout; but, no one knows what that workout feels like in your body but you. Don’t force a pose, lift more weight than your body is ready to lift or speed through a workout.
If we were all professional athletes being paid millions of dollars to break a record or risk injuring our body to get an extra yard the answer to my original question would be different. But we are not professional athletes.
At the end of the day we still need to be able to go to work, take care of our families, and hope to live a long healthy life. Each time we come to the mat, so to speak, is another opportunity to listen to our body. How has it changed since yesterday, last week? Does that same exercise today feel different than it did yesterday? Do you have greater range of motion or less?
I am not saying don’t strive to improve or give the extra oomph to eek a few seconds off your running time. I’m saying, be mindful. Take the time to listen to your body when you are engaged in any type of body work and its input is your number one guide. Make it fun . . . but, do it smart. You need to be in that body for a long time!
Peggy Stevens is the owner/operator of RiversZen Fitness, Stretching and Yoga Studios in Astoria, Oregon and Ilwaco, Washington. She also owns RiversZenOnline, providing insight, training, classes and more
Click here for Peggy's Class Schedule at both RiversZen Studios