Balance, one of life’s necessities. Something most of us struggle with in fact. Whether we talk about food, fitness, work, sleep or family, many of us sometimes have difficulty managing all of these things in a harmonious way.
I am certainly not an expert when it comes to balancing all of these things, however I think that my ongoing experiences allow me to have an angle on creating my own sort of zen lifestyle.
As you may already know, I am very involved in health, fitness and my family. I am also very committed to my students that I teach, my athletes that I coach and clients that I train.
In order for me to balance my life, I focus on 3 different categories: mental, spiritual & physical.
Achieving mental balance can be done several ways and there is a lot of research to support various methods in finding your way. A few techniques that I try to employ are using vision boards, thinking positively and using a journal.
Vision boards are not only fun to make, but allow your subconscious to regularly absorb the ideas you present to yourself through imagery. If you’ve never used a vision board, I encourage you to give it a try. A vision board can be made on your bathroom mirror or simply somewhere that you look every day. Put up pictures, quotes, charts or anything else that reminds you of something enjoyable. Put up a picture of your dream home or lots of cash! There is no limit to what you put up, just post things you want or things that make you smile…this will change your life in a positive way without you even realizing the impact it had!
There are too many people that are negative thinkers. Too many people say they “can’t do it” or put a negative spin on things just to bring you down. Try to keep your thoughts positive! Try to limit your exposure to negative people (I know that won’t be easy), and surround yourself with upbeat, positive people as much a s possible!
Keeping a journal can be very helpful in keeping track of your thoughts, food that you eat or exercise you do. It allows you to get your thoughts onto paper and gives you perspective on what’s going through your mind. If you use a journal for food or exercise, this is a great tool in showing your progress over time.
Achieving spiritual balance can be more difficult because you need to find some time to make it happen. It doesn’t need to take a lot of time, but finding a connection with your spiritual side could take time. Here are a couple ways to find your spiritual balance: meditation and yoga.
For some reason people shrug off meditation as some religious affair. It can be, but doesn’t need to be. In order to meditate, you can visit a prayer service at a place of worship, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Find yourself 5 minutes at some point in your day when you can be alone. Close your eyes and remove yourself from surrounding stimulation. Focus on your breathing and let your breath guide you as you try to simply clear your mind. This is a time for you to relax and ground yourself. You can do this for just 5 minutes a day and when ready, if time permits, you can increase the amount of time you spend doing it!
Yoga is not for hippies! This is not simply a method of stretching. There are so many benefits to yoga and professional athletes are finally realizing these importances and are including it in their training programs regularly. Yoga creates a mind-body connection and truly allows you to connect spiritually. If you have never tried a yoga class…don’t be afraid! Don’t think yoga is only for women nor is it for a specific age group. One of the beauties about yoga is that you do it for yourself and no one is there to judge you!
Achieving physical balance does not come easy. In everyone’s busy schedule so many people neglect it because they simply have no time for it…I disagree. One thing that I learned through athletics as a kid was time management – how to be well organized. Take your calendar and set up a schedule. Make your training sessions like they’re a job you need to work, a client you need to see or a class you need to attend – you are not allowed to skip it! Something to be careful about is over-training…remember to include some rest days so your body can recover well. The other thing to implement is some cross-training. Mix up your training throughout your week. Try some different activities to increase your overall fitness and help reduce the risk of injuries.
I think many people believe it’s too difficult to train for races (marathons, triathlons…) because of the number of hours they take in order to train as well as having a family and a full time job. It can be done…it is being done, by many, many people. Those who are new to these sports or activities need to know it is possible and need to learn how to find balance in their lives in order to help achieve these goals.
Probably the most important thing to balance in my life is my family. Considering I have a full time job, I coach teams, train clients, and train myself (marathons, triathlons, and an Ironman coming up), I need to make sure I see my family. Of course I could never achieve everything I do without their support. Especially without my wife’s support, I don’t think it would be possible for me to achieve the way I do. My schedule is posted in the house so everyone knows when my training happens as well as when I have classes, games to coach or clients to train. There are no secrets. As much as possible, I try to get my wife and kids involved in my activities. The kids will come to games that I coach, stretch with me after training sessions, go for bike rides or runs (very short ones) and come to races to show their support. My wife does the same and she started competing in triathlons as well. Sounds pretty selfish? I make sure to attend all their events to support them as well. Another very important thing for me to attend is our family dinner, which I enjoy every single night!
Hope this blog may have sparked some ideas for you to try and that you find balance in your life!
~ Plant Trainers
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