Three times a week, Thor, my workout buddy, and I have our 20 minute workout together. It’s a combination of a 10 second sprint and 60 second walk for 20 minutes. It works out great for both of us; I get a nice workout in, and he gets his wiggles out (for a little while anyway).
While Thor wears his leash, I wear a device that measures my heart rate and helps track my HRV (Heart Rate Variability). Focusing on metrics like this supports me in training my body more optimally, making the most of my workout. As Thor and I started our workout together, he was doing his dog thing of stopping to mark a bush, blade of grass, pole, etc. We slowed down to a walking pace, which was now starting to run now over the planned 60 seconds because of Thor’s dog instincts to check out everything in sniffing range. I was curious about my metrics and checked to see where my heart rate was at. To my surprise it was in the red and up to a maximal effort! All I was doing was walking at an effort rate that felt low to me. What was going on?
As I did a check in with both where my body and my mind were at, I noticed that I was agitated with Thor and his frequent stopping. We were supposed to be on a mission -I had a workout planned and little time to do it, this was supposed to be my elegant solution for both of us. That didn’t pan out and I was frustrated. The current mood I was in was affecting my body, I was adding increased stress to the situation and having an amplified internal response. Interestingly enough, I became aware of the fact that Thor was only being a dog, something neither of us has any control over, and I was upset at that, therefore creating the effects of the stress on my body. As a Vitality coach, I know all the research to support that over time, chronic stress can affect our brain, changing its structure and size, which decreases the overall health and function of our brain. Its not what I want for myself, or my clients.
Stress comes in many different forms and the human body is designed to experience stress and respond to it. It is how we respond that is the key. I was working out and without being aware of it, creating a stress response on my body. Fortunately, that awareness has me make a different choice to use my tools to create a better situation for myself. In that moment, I chose to create a more effective, productive completion to my workout.
I took the next 60 seconds to focus on my breathing, which then resulted in my heart rate lowering by 26 beats per minute. Next, I took a moment to add the thought of breathing in love every time I inhaled, which then lowered my heart rate 20 more beats per minute. Therefore, within 2 minutes I was able to bring my pulse down significantly simply by focusing on breathing and love, all while still walking. It was from that place that I began, in partnership with Thor, to workout with a healthier relationship stress to stress, exercising from a place of joy. I truly enjoy having Thor as my training partner, as we workout together!
How we choose to manage the stress we place on our bodies on a daily basis is the key to living a healthy, vital life. Awareness is the key element that can unlock your potential through training your body’s systems, as well as opening your mind and strengthening your heart. Our bodies provide the information to how we are moving through our day and lives. The key is to listen, nourish with healthy foods and thoughts, as well as train smart to optimize how we perform through the complexities of our lives. To learn more about how you can put all of these pieces together to live your life with Vitality, contact us for a conversation. We have many individual and group offers to train you with the tools to manage stress, develop awareness, and approach your workouts joyfully.