If you've caught yourself zoning out the same way, maybe you're ready for a new challenge: Focusing on your workouts. I know, it's a crazy idea, but stay with me here.
Zoning out isn't always a bad thing. If you're doing a steady, rhythmic workout, you let your body go through the motions while your mind roams free. You can solve problems, make mental to-do lists or list all the things you would say to your boss if only you didn't have to worry about getting fired.
But there are times when distraction can actually keep you from getting an effective workout. You see, the body is awfully sneaky and it will cheat if given a chance. During squats, your body will think, "Gee, these squats make my butt burn. I wonder how I can make them less painful?" Next thing you know, you're only squatting a few inches, your shoulders are rounded forward and we won't even discuss what your knees are probably doing.
Bringing a little focus to your form and exercises can make them more effective. Yes, it's harder to do the exercises correctly but, in the long run, that good form is what you need to get a strong, fit body.
With that in mind, your challenge this week, should you choose to accept it, is to find focus during each of your workouts:
- Focus on Cardio: If you usually zone out during cardio, your challenge is to turn off the music or shut the magazine for at least 5 minutes during your workout. Focus on what you're doing - how your body is moving, how hard your heart is beating and how you feel. Are you using good posture or are your shoulders rounded forward? Is your stride smooth or jerky? Pay attention to these things and make corrections if you find your form is sloppy.
- Focus on Strength: During your strength workout, plant yourself in front of a mirror during at least 3 of your exercises. Watch yourself go through each motion with slow, controlled reps and pay attention to your form while thinking about the muscles you're working. Do each and every rep with perfect form. Shout, "Dang, you look good!" whenever the mood strikes.
- Focus on Flexibility: Instead of blowing through your stretches (or skipping them), give yourself plenty of time to stretch all your muscles. Spend at least 15 seconds on each stretch and concentrate on gently lengthening your muscles. This is your chance to enjoy the effects of your workout.
Are you ready for the challenge? Leave a comment and tell us how you did or how you keep yourself focused during your workouts.