A few months back, I have shared my thoughts about the concept of rituals as applied to personal health and fitness. Recently I have refined my thinking and I thought I would share …
After a certain time, it’s easy to see your daily workouts as just your routine … don’t! Instead try to view your overall physical (and mental) fitness with more respect: call them your fitness rituals. That subtle word change will make all the difference … see, routines, habits, etc. will tend, over time, to gain a negative connotation because they’ll eventually become a “have to do”. But a ritual will always be something you respect and want to participate to – so whatever your pre-race or pre-workout ritual is, it will be setting the tone for it to be a positive experience and something you truly enjoy.
Here are my suggestions that will help you turn your workout “routine” into an awesomebulous ritual.
Have a theme song!
For me, music plays a big role in any activity. Not only does it focus your mind but when I listen to something I really like (for me It’s uplifting EDM) that’s super upbeat, it can se the done for how your experience things. So I suggest you get a rotation of songs, a playlist, an app that gets you in the mood for exercise. For me, I use an app called di.fm radio and I listen to their uplifting, epic and vocal trance channels and shows (from Armin van Buuren to Jena Garniychuk and Ori Uplift). When I really love a song, I add it to my running playlist on Apple Music (you can follow me there). That’s the soundtrack of my workouts and runs.
Dedicate your workout to someone
I think there is power in reminder myself as to why I am committing to my workouts, because it’s helping me why this matters to me and to remember the bigger picture: more and more (and more) maintenance as you get older! I’ve learned that great idea while practicing mindfulness using the Headspace app: take 3 deep breaths, shift your attention to your senses and be in the Now. Then think about why the workout you’re about to do matters to you. And then finally connect all of this with your own bigger picture, whether it’s preserving your health to be strong for your loved ones, or to remember how lucky you are to be healthy or to remind yourself how you feel so much better after your workout …..
Always do something you actually enjoy
A part of your ritual is your workout itself. Soooo … if you hate to run, don’t run. There are a lot of activities that will get you to break a really good sweat. Just thrive to get started, even when you don’t feel like it. The fun will come real fast. So find those workouts that will make sure that you’ll be always be coming back to them. For me I love running and I love lifting. But I don’t want to do this every day because I don’t want to get bored of it. So during my work week, I actually do my cardio on ellipticals, stairmasters (those are excellent cardio workouts!) and stationary bike. And every other day, I lift and work on my strength training.
Have a post-game
Once you’re done, I suggest you make a point in recognizing yourself for showing up today and do the work. Take your time during your cool down to reflect on how you feel and notice the positive changes you feel after a good workout session – for me I do a good stretching session and then hot tub and shower – so that you keep on doing it every day again and again and again.
The concept of macro rituals
In addition to your daily training and fitness rituals, I suggest you have a ritual to kick off each week. For example, I have a weekly macro ritual on Sundays when I prepare my meals for the week – make my food list, go to the store, take my time to pick up the best produce and then come home and prepare and cook. I usually do that after my weekend 10K runs.
@philippemora > I come from the future. I work and I workout. Always be kind and passionate.