What I like think of while working out

So if you’re like me and you suddenly realize that working out is fun and important in your life, you might wonder if you’re doing things right. One thing to make sure that you are doing things right is to be mindful. And to be mindful is to be fully aware of what you are doing. Be 100% with what you are doing. No thinking about what’s for dinner, no thinking about why the lady in the video is wearing red pants, no thinking about anything except the fact that you are working out.

If you really focus on working out, I think it’ll definitely have a great effect on what you’re aiming to achieve whether it’s health, weight loss or just some fun. Keep in mind I’m no expert and these are tips that work for me and not everyone.

  1. Keep your eyes on the goal. What is it that you want to get from working out? Fun? Muscles? Energy? Think about it. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s always good to have some goals, long-term or not. If we don’t know why we’re doing something, it’s easy to give up because of the lack of commitment. Someone recently gave me a pretty dress so I have absolutely no reason to not have a goal (lol). While I’m working out, I like to be all “Hey, don’t you want to buy a new pair of jeans!? You don’t want to look good in that shirt? What about fantastic arms?” It’s a fun bickering session, basically, but remember not to be too harsh on yourself!
  2. Posture! Very important to prevent injuries. I watched a video of how two women lost some weight and it had a lot to do with their posture. They looked so much better after losing the slouch. I’ve always been guilty of slouching so I’ve always kind of hated doing structured workouts that required me to stand or balance in a certain way. But! working out has helped me to take notice of my posture all around the clock and it has also reduced the tiredness I feel when sitting up straight.
  3. Muscles/fat. What kind of muscles do you want to build? Or how much fat do you want to lose? When I’m doing weights, I like to think about my arms and the muscles that are working. If I don’t think about them, I might just end up putting too little or too much strength in my moves and using momentum to guide what should be deliberate movements. I know I used to strain my legs too much while carrying weights. There was some soreness in my arms the next day but on that same day I worked out, I felt like I hadn’t done a lot because I was thinking of something else. I highly recommend watching any workout video for the first time with sound because sometimes the person in the video will tell you what muscles you should be feeling.
  4. Fun! If the workout doesn’t suit you, find something that does. Even better, start out with something fun like dancing and the rest of your workout will go by in a flash. For the past few months, I’ve been guilty of being angry while working out. Working out is my outlet for negative emotions but inserting those negative emotions have made my workouts quite unpleasant. Maybe it helped me finish more reps, but lots of people talk to me when I’m working out so I’m trying to make an effort these days to stop being the nastiest person on earth. And yes, doing some kind of freestyle dancing after your warmups helps to set an awesome mood!!

I originally named this post “What you should think of while working out” but it sounded wrong because it felt like I was demanding people to do something that they may or may not do, so I changed it so people wouldn’t misunderstand that I’m some expert. Better to sound self-centered than to have people read the title and be all, Lady, don’t tell me what to do!! (lol)

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Overcoming anger and stress 101 #2

Last week was the first episode of this series. And I asked some questions which hopefully you answered no to because really, who likes anger and stress?

So today I’m going to explain a few things. Now let’s start with anger. If you’re thinking, oh I get angry a lot, this must be bad. No, not necessarily. Anger is an emotion that comes in different forms and can range from mild annoyance to boiling hot rage.

Anger is healthy as long as it doesn’t blow out of proportion and turn into a manic, rage episode. Anger is healthy as long as we can still think straight and be reasonable in an argument. In fact, anger is necessary for humans as it is part of our fight-or-flight system that is one of the deciding factors when we choose to confront or leave a dangerous situation.

The same goes for stress. Let’s just face it, everyone worries, whether selfishly or unselfishly, frequent or not, we still worry. But I bet you didn’t know that there are two types of stress – the good and the bad. The good stress helps us in terms of motivation. Let’s say finals are around the corner and you want to do well. This stress will (hopefully) motivate you to push yourself to do whatever it takes to get the grades that you want.

Or if you want an example from me, here it goes. Joining the Weekly Wishes Link-Up has made me stressed. In a good way though. It gets me going whenever I feel sluggish or unmotivated. On days when I think, it’s okay to skip today’s workout, right? A part of me will go, No, you have to do it, for your fitness level’s sake and for the sake of not writing an ‘I failed’ report for the recap of your Weekly Wishes post. See? Good stress.

Then there’s the bad stress where you feel like you’re being weighed down and you just can’t find it in you to think positively. Using the same example, if I were to engage in bad stress, my thoughts would probably go along the lines of, oh no this is weighing me down, why did I join it, now I have so much more on my plate, I can’t do it, I just want to give up.

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If you remember from last week’s post, my tip of the week was to Breathe. I know it might sound stupid in your head, especially when you get angry or stressed, but it helps. Don’t think about what other people think or say, just draw in deep, measured breaths.

This week’s tip is to walk away. That’s right. Walk away. If you’re engaged in a heated argument that is turning ugly or getting unreasonable, walk away with an explanation. Or if you’ve reached your breakdown point and you can’t see yourself doing anymore work, walk away. But remember to tell the other person that both of you need to take a time-out. Turn and leave. Find a quiet place where you can collect your thoughts and sanity. It’s not okay to walk away without an explanation, knowing full well that the other person can’t handle it and will apologize to you so that you can get your way. That’s a lowly manipulation tactic and complete rubbish.

I realize that some people won’t let you walk away. They’ll get offended and ask you what the hell you think you’re doing by walking away. The thing here is to not just suddenly walk off without explanation because that’s going to be worse the next time there’s an argument. Just try to block out whatever the other person is saying and breathe until you’re calm enough to tell them you need a break. Say, this is going overboard, we need a time-out. Sounds stupid too, right? But it makes sense so say it anyway. Say it as calmly as you can so that it won’t just stir up another bout of anger. Walk away knowing that this is just a break and things haven’t been resolved yet. Come back calmer and with a clearer mind and this time, make compromises or resolve the issue without getting mad.

As for being stressed and on the verge of losing it, I would advise dropping everything. All the balls that you’re juggling? Drop them, step back, walk away for ten minutes, do something relaxing like listening to music, come back with a clearer mind and pick those balls up one by one. Slowly! Sometimes all you need to do is walk away from everything for a minute. Hopefully when you return, you’ll have a clearer mind and be able to look at things from a different perspective.

I’m telling you this from experience. I used to be so frustrated at math questions (for the longest time, math was my most dreaded subject). When I couldn’t get the answer, I would stare at the question harder and harder, trying to make the answer come to me. Soon but not soon enough, I learned that I needed to get away from the book, walk around and do other things for a while then come back to it. More often than not, I would able to look at the question from a different angle and solve it. This method applies to other things in life of course, not just math questions.

Also, try making a list of the things you need to do. A list will help you see what’s important and you can start by focusing on the first important task then going to the next. You will feel much better. You’re not Superman. Cut yourself some slack. Tell yourself it’s okay to take a break because it is.

I hope this helps. Remember, guys, take it easy.

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For those wondering who the hot potatoes Raine is, read this!

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