What do the soul and body have to do with each other? A lot.
First what is our soul? We can easily identify what our body is. It's our physical self. It's our muscles, our limbs, our bones. Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. Our soul is our character, our feelings, our intellect. And the two have so much in common.
Let's take working out for example. When we are nearing the end of a tough workout, our body is fatigued, gassed, and ready to give up. Ready to stop. However our body may still have something left in the tank. That is where our soul comes in. Our mind can communicate to our body to push through those last few reps or to hold that sprint for just another 10 seconds, to push through and finish our workout.
It is in moments such as those where our soul and body work in harmony. If there is a major disconnect between the two, then we are leaving a lot of stones unturned. There are workouts that aren't completed, or never started. There are tasks that don't get done. There are projects we are supposed to complete today that we tell ourselves can wait until tomorrow.
We must train our soul to to be strong and diligent. How?
Through prayer, through meditation, through reflection. Through deciding to make a choice that today is going to be better than yesterday. That today you will be greater than you were yesterday.
Have you ever worked so hard and so much to reach a workout goal? Or to reach an ideal weight or figure to match someone you've seen on TV?
It's alright if you have. Be honest with yourself.
Don't get me wrong, it's okay to have a workout goal, and to work diligently to get there. What is wrong is trying to be something or someone you're not. It becomes a problem when your entire workout program is built on you trying to be like someone else.
It's a trap. Don't fall for it.
For those that have achieved that "goal", when you have sculpted yourself to look like that person on TV, how did it feel?
Was there something still missing? Did you still feel a sense of emptiness?
Theres' a reason for that. You are more than just a body. You are more than just a physical specimen.
Whether you want to believe it or not, you are also a spiritual being.
Again, nothing wrong with wanting to look a certain way. However, don't base that off of someone else. Achieve it for you. That way when you do reach your goal, you don't feel incomplete.
Working out is for more than just the physical aspect. Your fitness is tied to your inner self, your spirit. When you feed your spirit and body at the same time, reaching that goal seems much more meaningful. You become more effective in reaching that goal. You feel that much better because you're making a greater and lasting impact on the inside and outside.
Don't workout for vain pursuits. It doesn't lead to anything worthwhile. In fact, it may leave you worse off.
Workout for a purpose that is defined by you, not anyone else.
With everything going on, your body may be feeling drained. Over the last few weeks we have been talking about keeping up with a regular workout routine and not letting anything stop you. You also know that I am an advocate for balance and not overdoing it.
Enter exercise fatigue.
Yes, there is a such thing. There are times when our body, and our mind, just won’t allow us to perform a workout to the level we would like it to. It happens. We experience exercise fatigue when we are in a state of mental and physical depletion.
Know the signs. If you have been consistent in your workout routine, but one or two days of your workout all of a sudden become sluggish, you’re experiencing exercise fatigue.
If you try to lift a certain amount of weight that you’re accustomed to, but no matter how hard you push yourself, you just can’t achieve it, you’re experiencing exercise fatigue.
When you feel like you’re going through the motions, and your mind just isn’t feeling the workout…you guessed it, you’re experiencing exercise fatigue.
And I want you to know that exercise fatigue is completely normal. It happens. At some point or another we just haven’t felt like ourselves in at least a workout or two.
How do we overcome it?
Just listen to your body. As important as exercising is, those recovery or rest days are as important. When we’re fatigued, we need to just completely take a step back from exercising. We may need a day or two. Maybe even three. The key point is that we do more harm than good to ourselves if we try to workout when we are exercise fatigued.
If our nervous system isn’t up for the tasking demand of the workout, putting undue added stress onto our body can increase our risk for injury.
Life stressors can drain us mentally and affect us physically, leading to that exercise fatigue. Lack of sleep will contribute to that as well.
If you need to recharge, do so. We become stronger at times in our moments of rest. So when your body (and mind) tells you that you need to rest, listen to it. You’ll be thankful that you did.
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