Your brain is the most important organ in your body, and it is important that you work it out with plenty of exercises and memory games. You already knew that. But did you know that you can put your brain to work during your workout to help you make the most of it? We’re talking about how your mind affects your workout. At HiDow International, we’ve talked about how a positive mental attitude is critical to coping with sports injuries and building healthy habits. Still, you can also use your mentality to influence the quality of your exercise. Here’s how.
1. Clear Your head before your workouts
If you’re anything like me, you think about a million things simultaneously, and your wheels never stop turning. That’s great if you’re brainstorming, but not so much if you’re trying to focus on a single thing — like your workout. Before your workout, it’s important to clear your head and allow yourself to get in the zone (so to speak). The goal is to clear your head of all the humming noise and start to focus on your body.
2. Warm-up properly
Warming up and stretching properly is crucial if you want to avoid injuries. Warming up can be aerobic, or it can be dynamic to involve movements as you warm up during your warm-up, focusing on your body. As you warm up, think about your breathing pattern, and which muscles you are stretching, focus on going through each move properly and really try to connect with each muscle group as you warm up.
3. Visualize the muscles you’re using
Now that you are warmed up and ready to get into your workout, you should be trying to visualize the muscles that you are using. Visualize each muscle as it contracts and stretches, and try to make sure you use the appropriate technique. This will add consistency to each rep and help you avoid injuries from sloppy techniques. Especially if you are lifting weights.
4. Take It Slow and Do Negative Exercises
If you are new to working out or, quite honestly, don’t like doing it very much (we get it), you may try to get through each rep and set it as quickly as possible. But that can lead to either ineffective exercises or even injuries that result in chronic pain.
Instead, take your time doing each set and focus on the “negative” aspect of the motion. This means focusing on the down motion that resets the workout for about 3 to 5 seconds. This helps build muscle and gives you more control of the motion, which prevents injuries.
For example, if you’re doing pushups, you can maximize your workout by coming back down slowly rather than letting your body weight be what brings you down.