What are the 3 things that you do most often? Most people will immediately go with “work” as their first answer. Next might be taking care of the kids or even spending time on hobbies. These answers, and any of the like are wrong. All humans do the same 3 things most often, we sleep, breath and think most often. We breathe nonstop, (on average) we think for ⅔ of our life and we’re sound asleep for ⅓ of our lives.
Knowing this info can help make anybody’s CrossFit journey so much more enjoyable.
Let’s start with my favorite, SLEEPING! If you’re not getting good sleep each night it is going to be much harder to achieve your goals, whatever they are. So much happens during this time. Our bodies will be recovering from our intense workouts, our brain is flushed of toxins, hormones are released, many critical functions that are essential to keeping you healthy! We need 7-9 hours of good sleep a night. No TV on, limit your smartphone time before bed, and do some before bed stretching to help your body relax and fall asleep faster.
Let’s move onto BREATHING. Most people don’t really think about this one. Why should we? Our brain does it for us. However, putting focus towards controlling your breathing, and making a point to get good it, will help you make great strides towards your goals. Breathing should be controlled by our belly. When you inhale and exhale, your abdomen should rise and lower, while the shoulders and chest stay down. This works the diaphragm and is very much so a skill that must be trained in order to master it.
A good way to start training your breathing is to find a quiet room and a timer. Find a comfortable sitting position and start the timer to just run. When you start the timer, aim to inhale for 4 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds and do this for 4 minutes. As you progress you can increase your seconds of breath to 5/5, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, 15/15 even! You should not feel light headed or strain doing this drill. It should be revitalizing and relaxing. Taking this time to focus on your breathing will help you perform better during your workouts in the long run!
Last but not least, THINKING. I truly believe that the only thing we have control over in our lives is our thoughts and attitude to how we respond to circumstances. Not all circumstances are equal by a long shot but, nonetheless we choose how we respond. As soon as you become aware of this truth, you realize that a bad attitude, or having a bad day, is all a reflection on your thoughts and how you respond to what happens. Its relative.
I’ve found that the best way to dodge these negative thoughts and keep a good mood is gratitude. Gratitude is very much so a muscle. It is a muscle that must be trained daily in order to keep it from getting too weak to do its job. So I challenge you to think of, and write down 1-2 things a day that you are grateful for. Family, friends, career, opportunity, walking, seeing, there is an abundance of things to be grateful for. Train yourself to recognize them!
Hopefully these 3 tips give you all some guidance and help. As always, I’m open for questions!