I consider intrinsic thinking in its most basic form to be self awareness. In other words, getting to know your own body and mind and how different things impact you. Believe it or not our brain is a very powerful tool that we can use to better ourselves, improve our mood, and even make strides in our fitness.
Take a little time to ask yourself the questions below and see if they don’t have a positive impact on your life:
Have I ever over-trained and had an injury?
I will raise my hand here. The truth is that while it is good to push ourselves to make progress, we know when we have those warning signs that we should slow it down. Nowadays when I have a body part that is bordering on the edge of an overuse injury I am pretty good at asking myself “what will make that better?” If it is going lighter, I go lighter, if it is rest, I rest and do something else, and if it is stretching or icing or massage then I turn that particular workout day into a healing day. Remember that pushing too hard through an injury is FAR more likely to end up into a debilitating injury and set you back than to make any significant difference in overall fitness.
How do I feel?
Are you tired? Try some of my tricks from my old Facebook post and my article on motivation to get energized (some deep breaths, water, and some jumping jacks). These tricks can get the systems moving and start releasing hormones and chemicals that signal the body to keep moving before making a decision to grab some chips and hit the couch.
Are you frustrated or stressed? A few deep breaths are key. In addition, a multivitamin may get you re-balanced. At night if you find yourself tossing and turning, I recommend some top to bottom stretching with deep breathing to calm the mind. Another good trick is looking at something beautiful for a few minutes like the sky or a natural setting. And of course a great workout can be the best remedy of all!
Are you sick? Well for this one we need some true self searching to know just how we feel because over-doing it will be a bad thing, but I touch on this subject a bit in my article “should I work out if I’m feeling sick“.
Have I made any big mistakes in life?
Hey Coach, this is supposed to be a workout article. No, not really, it’s a healthy living article and we should look inside and better ourselves whenever we can. Carrying guilt or anger will bring you down and with it the people around you. Carry a positive momentum by reflecting on your life a bit and decide if there are things you can do to be a better friend, co-worker, spouse, parent, or just a better human being. Forgive yourself for the mistakes and make a pact to be better. That’s intrinsic thinking at it’s core.
Putting it all Together
A quick google search for “visualization in sports” will yield a huge number of scholarly articles and studies on the subject of athletic performance being linked to using the mind in preparation for physical activity. It goes well beyond sports and into the medical field and business world as well. One thing is for sure, we can improve many aspects our our lives though planning, reflecting, visualizing, and intrinsic thinking. Experiment with the ideas in this article and see where it goes from there… maybe more yoga to connect your breathing to your exercise, maybe the ability to perform better at work or just be a better neighbor or parent. If you have any other thoughts on the subject we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing you healthy bodies and happy thoughts!
Steve Gilbert is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nationally Certified Coach. His gMax35 exercise routine offers balanced and practical workouts for busy people to achieve optimum health in a 7 DVD system or streaming online membership format. See more articles and information at www.gmax35.com or follow gMax35 on Facebook.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay