A Key to Performance: We Need to Train our Mind and Body as One System

Discussing the importance of state control around physical activity to foster total life optimization The way most people train their bodies physically in a gym or on their own, typically uses the chosen activities strictly as a way to burn energy and create enough stress for a desired adaptation. Why is this not an optimized approach to overall health? Overall health should look at the connection between mind, body, behaviors, and beliefs as one system. Each having an effect on the other. When we go into a training session without an intent we lose an opportunity to be fully conscious of how these parts of us interact and affect the outcome of performance, growth, and satisfaction. For example, most people who work in a corporate environment are consistently plagued with low energy and stress, creating a sort of “tired and wired” feeling. This often requires stimulants to get themselves going, and depressants/numbing agents to put us to sleep. This is a never ending battle as our tolerance for these continues to rise over time, creating more damage. This is why when we train with our clients we make sure each part of our training has a specific intent, and we utilize mindfulness, breath, mobility, strength, and conditioning to engage with that intent in different ways. So what if we could teach and demonstrate a system that allowed people to do both those things in ways that improved their performance and connection to themselves? This is why we should use Breath and Meditation as a part of training before, during, and after. Each with a different lesson. In the prep/warmup: Specific intent is put on creating a space for mindfulness and connection with the body, showing each person how they can move from a racing or dull mind into a state of flow. We can create a sense of alertness in the mind and energy in the body by utilizing breathing techniques. During training: During our fitness session we can practice the art of stress control. An imperative tool for performance, endurance, reduction in anxiety, mental clarity, and burnout reduction. Our breath is the guide to maintain conscious awareness of what is happening, analyze our thought patterns under stress, and reduce the physiological effects of mechanical and cardiovascular stress. This is a perfect way to also engage fear, creating mental and emotional resilience. After training: Through training we seek an adaptation to acute stress. Acute being the focal point. Typically people rush out of the gym or their fitness class and return straight to their phones, work life, traffic, etc. This keeps the body chemically in a state of stress and the nervous system in a sympathetic state (fight or flight). If this continues we never truly recover from our training, which is the point of training in the first place. Positive adaptation comes during recovery, not during training. Meditation and calming breathwork directly post training allows us to reduce the stress of the workout, puts our nervous system in a place where it can foster anabolic recovery, and allows us to create coherent heart rhythms that are synonymous with wellbeing and health. It also shows each person how they can use their own bodies and minds to return to a state of calm acceptance, vs the hyper aroused cycle of fighting and escaping into TV, social media, etc. Imagine if we taught these skills to our youth. Shouldn’t this be a critical skill as the complexity of our daily lives continues to increase? Luckily it’s not too late no matter where we are in life. If you are a leader in some capacity this should also serve as a guidance system to create the highest performing and content individuals in your organization. Nothing should be put above the performance and wellbeing of the individual. We hope to impart more of this knowledge on the culture of mental/physical health and fitness. They are too often separated. These are the critical parts of our training trusted by professional athletes and executives under the guidance of world renowned coaches (Tareq Azim) and doctors in neuroscience. For more articles like this, or if you want to optimize your mind, body, and behaviors shoot me a follow or an email me at Pearce@builttoevolve.com



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