This month, BeSophro has invited the brilliant KT from Precisionmovement. In her article, you will discover that the work-in will allow you to build strength, self-confidence and stay healthy without adding more stress to your body. At BeSophro, we fully endorse that concept of training by KT for busy Londoners or for those who are recovering from burn out.
The work-in is the new workout
As we begin another year with good intentions of being one’s best self we often get caught in thinking more is better. In the case of fitness, I see people going crazy at the gym like they are training for the next Hunger Games battle. Trouble is they look drawn, pale and totally stressed out – the very furthest from a picture of health. Inevitably, then 6-12 weeks into the New Year they’re either totally burnt out mentally and/or physically and/or injured. It is completely non-sensical to stress yourself out more in an attempt to become fit and healthy. Recognise this pattern? Do you want to improve your health and fitness without burning out? Read on for the solution.
Geek out with me
The autonomic system is made up of the sympathetic (stress, break cells down, high intensity, high energy output) and the parasympathetic (chill out, repairs cells, helps digestion, aids sleep, calm, restorative) branches. The body doesn’t differentiate between stress caused by work, food and drink, lack of sleep, physical, environmental factors – it responds to all threats to it’s survival, however small, in the same way by pumping out cortisol and adrenalin. The body hates doing too much of one thing like being stressed, and if you push it too far it will start to retaliate and not in a good way. Parts of your body may break down or get injured, your mental capacity starts getting fuzzy, your emotional fuse becomes very short. Basically you become the ogre version of your good self and it ain’t pretty!
This is exactly what happens when you are leading a life full of commitments, work is demanding and then you decide that on top of all this, training to look like Ironman will complete you. What actually happens is you end up turning into The Hulk without the super human strength component. Epic fail.
The long term effects
It’s true that some people will not feel these effects immediately. For some feeling a little under par will become normal and then feeling a little more under par will become normal and so it goes on. Your baseline of normal continually sneaks further down the ladder of health without you even realising until you end up getting really ill or really injured to the point where you need to take a considerable amount of time to recover or it ends up shortening your life.
Health is the foundation of everything you do – every business deal you make, every company you own, every relationship you have. If your health is poor it will reflect on every part of your life. It is truly foolish not to think about the effects of the life you lead now will impact you in the future. Life is an endurance race – not a sprint. Try sprinting through life and see how far you get before you need to recuperate! I like to think of life as taking in as much as you can from each moment rather than rushing through it with blinkers on.
Pacing yourself back to Zeus-esque fitness
If you have a demanding life, you need to train smart not necessarily hard. Smart training is all about the long game. You will be able to gain and sustain a longer-lasting level of fitness if you pace yourself. I often work with clients who are injured or are coming out of acute burnout to help them get better, enjoy movement that serves their body, improves posture, stability and strength without adding more stress.
The focus is different – it’s all about creating health and fitness that serves you each day for life. Each day you are different. Sometimes you might have had a particularly stressful meeting, an argument with your wife or be too high on a business deal that’s just gone through. You need movement to stay strong, healthy and counteract sitting at your desk all day. You want your movement to balance you out not push you towards more stress.
I don’t have time
Firstly if you have time to kill yourself in the first three months of the year then you have time to invest in learning proper movement. It’s just a shift of thinking and an acceptance of a steady sustainable approach to health and fitness. Secondly, the old adage “I don’t have time” is just that – old. There is a new concept in town and it’s called The New Dual Optimum. Thanks to Martin Bjergegaard author of Winning without Losing, who confirms that we can be successful entrepreneurs and leaders in our industry without sacrificing other parts of our life like fitness and health. And it is fast becoming the new way of leading – finding balance between personal and work life because those who actively seek to find that balance do better in business. If you are not making time for your health, family and friends then you’ll be left behind burning out at the bottom of the pile.
Learning how to move effectively and correctly
At school were you ever taught to run or jump properly? How about how to sit properly in a chair? Or squat, push or pull properly? I’m guessing not. It is just assumed that we must know how to move. Walking into a gym or fitness class and assuming you know what you’re doing is akin to me walking into the trading floor of the London Stock Exchange and buying and selling at random because things sound good or everyone’s buying up sugar or coffee so I’ll do what’s popular. Imagine the mess! Good movement is not a given, you must learn. Thankfully this learning process is mostly done in a healing parasympathetic state. This process is perfect for learning good movement and getting back to fitness gradually.
This neatly brings me to another concept – lean yourself out. If you invest the time to learn what good movement is and how to structure your exercise throughout the week, factoring in your stress level it will save you time, energy and thinking power in the moment and you are more likely to do something beneficial than getting even more stressed out thinking about what to do and then staying in the office.
Start by taking your return to fitness slowly and building upon it in a manageable and enjoyable way that is sustainable over time. Find someone who is experienced, knowledgeable and passionate about movement to teach you for a worthwhile investment in learning, appreciating, listening to and respecting how truly amazing your body is!
Introducing the work-in!
The work-in is a great solution to the need for movement without adding more stress to your system. A work-in places you in a parasympathetic state of healing and recovery. You always feel rested and rejuvenated after a work-in. Examples of a work-in are hatha or kundalini yoga, tai chi, a walk in the country or a park, a leisurely bike ride in a secluded place (not central London!). At Precision Movement we offer a daily post-flight stretch and rejuvenation session to guests and clients who have just flown in from a business trip. They always leave feeling refreshed and ready for what’s next.
KT is the owner and creator of Precision Movement in Mayfair that offers one-on-one rehabilitative exercise for back pain and injury, fitness, ballet, stretch and kickboxing training. To work with KT on workouts and work-ins that compliment your life please email her at [email protected]. For more information please visit the website at www.precisionmovement.co.uk.