Exercise with patience

by Liam Lalor

Exercise is essential to us. For many, it becomes a habit, a ritual completed every day. It, along with eating and sleeping and activity, are the requisites of good health. Itís good for the body, the mind. We understand as much.

Now, like any habit, any ritual done every day or very often, there exists a risk. In this instance, the risk I mean is that of haste, or urgency. Something familiar becomes something comfortable ó something necessary, but perhaps in time it becomes something inconvenient.

Imagine work or house chores, imagine getting your car fixed or resolving an issue with the government. All of these things are necessary to us, important, yet we search for ways to expediate the processes involved. To make it quicker, more comfortable; we imagine getting it over and done with.

Exercise is no different in this way. We are prone to haste. It is a natural tendency of a busy mind. Thereís work, family, kids, friends, bills, the weather, and whatever else to think about. These things can pull us out of focus, and this means too in our approach to a workout.

The most essential aspect of any exercise is control. Closely aside it, I would say, is patience. The ability to take the muscles through the movement to the best of their capacity. It takes time. If youíve worked with me at all you know that I stress this when explaining an exercise. Cadence, focus, procedure. Itís clinical in that way.

Tips for bettering your patience for exercise:

1.Mindfulness. I donít mean meditation. I simply mean the act of being present in your mind. What is the movement? Where should I feel it? Which muscles are to be focused on?

2.Tempo. A coach might ascribe one to you for an exercise as I have often done. But having a tempo can help simulate patience if the mind canít unwind itself. For example: back squat ó 3:1:3:1. Three seconds descent. One second in the hole. Three seconds ascent. One second relief before the next rep.

3.Understanding. Knowing the benefits of time under tension, knowing the function of a muscle, knowing the risks associated with rushed technique or poor form, the uselessness of an urgent rep, will assist you here.

4.Culpability. This is mostly self-enforced. In the past Iíd catch myself on a hurried rep or getting through a workout without any devotion. Iíd make myself redo the rep, sometimes redo the set. Remain accountable. Some behaviours like this will improve how you treat patience and exercise.

5.One at a Time. Take a workout one thing at a time. It can be easy to imagine the whole hour or more ahead, but all that accomplishes truly is in imbuing you with urgency. So, try to focus on whatís immediate. The warmup. Your first set. The cool down. Whatever it is, make it count. Donít try to tackle everything at once.

Remember: exercise is, at best, for longevityís sake. You want a long life with a body that can manage. To cultivate this requires care and attention; patience. It isnít unlike other things. Move well, take your time, and the body will prosper.

óCoach Liam