Tag Archives: professional athlete

Permission to Play Pretend

Can you remember the feeling of total freedom and adventure you had as a child, climbing trees, running through the woods, and playing pretend on the playground outside of your school? Maybe you played sword fighting with sticks in the park, and dreamed you were saving a kingdom. It didn’t matter how long you were out there playing – it was never long enough, and it went by too fast. The concept of creative reimagining or, the way that you transformed the mundane environment and yourself into something fantastic an exciting made the time go by, and you got a great workout. I never abandoned this practice – it’s made my workouts that much more exciting and effective.

In fact, I think a lot of us do this without realizing it. Zoning out and jogging on the treadmill to The Matrix soundtrack and imagining how in shape I’d have to be in to run away from Mr. Smith was my go-to motivation for a long time. A jogging app exists now that plays false Apocalyptic broadcasts in order to encourage you to really run for your life! Raised on a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy, this is a method that really puts the fire under my feet!

Sports performance Miami professionals might have different methods, but that’s okay. This is what works for me and a lot of people. Just that small amount of imagined fantastic danger and risk can get those creative juices going and make time fly by. Besides, the benefits to letting yourself play pretend is incredible. It helps you find more out of the box solutions in your workplace, and if you’re a creative type like I am, you might dream up whole new storytelling ideas and concepts during this time.

I think a lot of us are used to the structure of personal training Miami classes and group training Miami classes, where we are 100% present and working with the instructor and group to create our fitness experience. It’s very rewarding, but when you are on your own with your earbuds, it’s hard not to space out and let your thoughts roam. Letting your body and conscious mind do their thing frees your subconscious up to solve problems and let loose a little. This de-stressing is vital!

So consider this an official permission slip to play pretend when you’re working out. Yes, even though you are an adult. There’s nothing wrong with a little creative reinvention to keep you busy when you’re having trouble staying on track, or when the time is moving too slowly and the workout seems like an endless, painful inconvenience. This is an invitation to make exercising ridiculous, absurd and absolutely fun again by imagining all the crazy, unrealistic world saving scenarios you can use your healthy body in. Never stop training! Train to slay the dragon, to survive the zombie apocalypse, or to accompany your favorite fictional protagonists on their monster slaying heroic adventures. Whatever it is that keeps you in sync with your routine.

Mental Health Through Physical Training

Building a routine for working out is tough, especially if you aren’t used to it. Returning to exercising after years of being lax with yourself is hard. You’re your own disciplinarian, and you’re bound to let yourself get away with skipping your workout, or indulging in comfort food. We all need a little help starting out.

In my own experience, not everybody necessarily needs to work out in a community to keep themselves both challenged and on track. Some people are just born with the gift of self-motivation and they can commit themselves entirely to the task and achieve it, no outside help needed. I am not one of those people – that is to say, I wasn’t, until I used exercise to develop that skillset. While everyone doesn’t need a community like I did, I believe everyone does need access to a gym. The equipment is important, but so is the act of setting aside a time and space that’s sacred – it’s just for your health. Working at my home gym has always seemed like something I can put off until “later” and, of course, later never comes. Forcing myself to go out, and having my trainers and friends hold me accountable when I don’t show up, has been a great motivator. This is especially true in the sense that, when you’re starting out, it can be hard to find your own well of self-generating willpower and motivation. The good news is that is one of the many mental health rewards that regular, structured and dedicated exercise routines will give you.

The gyms Miami has to offer are many. Boot camp style Miami workouts are some of the most exciting and intensive things you can put your body through when you’re getting into the game, but it can be very rewarding to achieve success in such an immediately challenging environment. It’s always good to start somewhere comfortable but aim for a more daunting goal. Walking every day was easy for me starting out, for example, but the kickboxing class scared me but I tried it anyway. It ended up not being my thing, but the act of attending a group training Miami class in kickboxing gave me courage. It was part of me learning my fitness interests and boundaries.

Every challenge gives us something we can learn from. In the world of physical fitness, this is especially true. The mental discipline you can develop carries into every other area of your life. I never thought about exercise that way before until I began to commit my life to it. It’s a constant realization that we are capable of achieving more than we ever thought – that we’re stronger, smarter, and more powerful than we could have imagined. The discoveries you make during your workout journey and the confidence and self-possession it fosters are invaluable. There’s a reason why successful people – whether they are sports professionals, artists, business professionals, etc. – swear by routine workouts. There’s just something there that opens us up creatively and intellectually while we train our bodies.

Depression and Exercise: An Exploration

Exercising can do great things for your mood. Whether in personal training Miami classes or group training Miami classes, getting out into one of the fine gyms Miami has to offer and being present with a dedicated community can be invaluable to your physical fitness training. While it does lift our mood, helping the brain produce seratonin and dopamine, there is a myth that exercising frequently can be a substitute for anti-depressants.

This widespread myth is often quoted at people who have just come out as being ill, and can limit their willingness to get medical help or start working out entirely. It can be very difficult to share this information with other people, especially considering the typical reaction is ignorance, disgust, and misinterpretation. Remembering that individuals with depression and other neurological conditions have actual, physical illnesses that show up on brain scans is vital in treating them with dignity. Just like we can’t will ourselves to feel better when we have the flu, depression doesn’t go away because we want it to or because we walk every day. Suggesting exercise as a cure all can be condescending and hurtful.

Not everyone who is diagnosed with a mood disorder needs to be medicated. Often, dietary changes and exercising, as well as therapy, can be a really great way of helping the brain deal with the disorder in a non-chemical way. For some of us, though, there is no getting better without medication. When the brain is sick, it’s just like any other organ. Everyone’s physical fitness journey is different, but no matter who you are, the most intensive boot camp style Miami workout is not enough to cure a chronic neurological disorder, and the amount of people who suggest this to those diagnosed with these conditions is shocking, especially considering one of the heaviest symptoms can be the inability to get out of bed due to extreme muscle pain, disorientation, and fatigue.

Any real treatment plan involves a degree of exercise. Mental and physical health are intrinsically intertwined. One depends on the other. We need motivation, discipline and willpower to carry out our workout routines, and we need a healthy and active body in order to help us maintain that motivation, discipline and willpower. Energy level, seratonin, adrenaline, and dopamine are all partially regulated through the active body. Depending entirely on medication, especially any medication that one can develop a tolerance for, is not a treatment plan – it’s a band-aid.

While medication can be lifelong, the degree at which it is taken can depend on many factors that shift over a lifetime. Diet and exercise can help decrease the need for heavy dosages, and, combined with therapy and healthy life choices in terms of rewarding our passions, career aspirations, etc. can lead to more balance.

There are many reasons to get out and exercise, especially if your mental health needs a boost. While it doesn’t solve everything, it can certainly lead to a better quality of life.

My Workout Journey: Community Importance

I never liked working out. In high school, I was always trying to get out of gym class using a variety of excuses. As I got older and I began to witness my physical and mental health deteriorate as a result of poor workout and self-care habits, I returned to physical fitness as a way to improve myself and my body. I joined a local gym and on the days I did not work out there, I walked my neighborhood. I even took up a sport – a less intensive one, but a sport nonetheless – and found myself feeling and eating better as a result. I couldn’t figure out why, as a kid, I’d hated exercising so much. I realized it in the middle of my group training Miami class. Looking around at everyone, I could tell some of us were further in our fitness journey than others, but everyone was enthusiastic and encouraging as we worked side by side for self-improvement. In other words, it was community I was missing.

Sure, in gym class, we have a group of kids working towards a common goal – getting through the hour. I remember enjoying access to the weight room in high school, because it was an individually focused activity, but my school only allowed us to gain access to it senior year and even then, it was booked solid by athletes. Not having a natural talent for sports, I was among the last picked for teams and constantly picked on, made fun of, or forced to be the scorekeeper instead of being encouraged to try for success. It was an attitude I began to internalize, and I got used to ‘health’ and ‘exercise’ being synonymous with feeling lousy about myself. Of course I didn’t want to exercise!

The right gym knows that health is for everyone, and that our paths are individual. Even though I also engage in personal training Miami classes, just being in a room full of people dedicated to bettering themselves is enough to make me want to work my hardest. I will say that seeing sports performance Miami professionals working on the machines beside me can be intimidating, but I’ve never met any adult at the gym who has been less than friendly and encouraging. Sometimes, just sharing a smile with someone who gets how hard it is to start this journey can be enough to keep me going.

It’s still early. Even though I still want to give up – a lot – I know it’s going to get easier as I get used to my new routine. Not working out in a structured way for five years has really taken a toll on my willpower, self-esteem, and energy level. I had no idea all the great things I was missing out on by choosing to be inactive! I’ve been to a few gyms Miami has to offer, but I think I struck gold on the one I eventually signed up for. The boot camp Miami workout is as intense as it is rewarding.