The 4 Techniques of Mindfulness, and your Fitness Goals

Arnold the Caveman

“Before you begin your workouts sit down for a few minutes and think about your body. Let your mind get in touch with your muscles. During the day you probably think about everything but training your body. You shouldn’t just hurry from a business deal and start doing a bench press…You should allow it (your mind) a few minutes to adjust to the idea of training…feel the control you have, get in touch mentally with all those body parts.”–Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We all know (even if we don’t do it) that exercising the body is important, vital. But, too often we neglect to take the time to work that little lump in our heads. And that is a shame. The truth is that our minds are a powerful tool that can we can harness to achieve great success, not just in our careers or in school, but in our physical development.

Whether your goal is to lose 100 lbs of fat, or to become a Nationally ranked Olympic Weightlifter, or if you want to be a Bulgarian Sumo Champion (yes, one exists!), then you MUST take mental training seriously.

The world is full of temptation. (And I don’t just mean the wonderful temptation of ice-cream). I mean the temptation to be lazy, to say, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow … next week … next month,” or, “I KNOW it’s time for me to hire a personal trainer, but …” (can you guess that I’ve heard that one?)

The Japanese, and Zen monks of old, knew that to take your life by the horns, you must follow the 4 techniques of Mindfulness:

  1. Decide on what course of action you are going to take, “What am I going to do?”.
  2. Pause to truly consider WHY you are doing it. “Why am I doing this?”
  3. Do it with focus and attention, staying in the moment. ” … “
  4. Once you’ve accomplished it, pause again, and consider what you’ve learned from the experience, “What have I learned?”

(I realize that “…” from 3 is a bit silly, but what would you have written?)
The point is that you do have some modicum of control, if you are willing to use it. Start putting these 4 Mindfulness Techniques into practice, and your life will thank you.

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