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How to choose a workout that works for you

Last week, I did a quick look over at my current fitness regimen. Since it's a new month, it feels like a good time to review things. I also want to take what I've been learning about fitness and health, and see if this helps me bring something new to my practices.


What's my situation right now?


1. The weather isn't great for being outside


Earlier this year, I was able to spend time walking and running outdoors. Now it's just too hot. It's not that I can't go outside, but I'll less motivated to, and I'm more likely to make excuses. I'd rather stay inside and be more comfortable while working out.


2. I'm still dealing with long term pain


As I've talked about in the past, I'm still taking steps to deal with some chronic pain. As I'm learning more about it, and understanding that pain is linked to my emotional state now, as opposed to my physical state, I have to take that into account also.


To me, this means I shouldn't be doing things that I find frustrating, or too stressful. My workouts should be more about enjoyment and relaxation.


3. I can feel some boredom and repetitiveness


These days, everything feels the same. I want to shake things up a little bit. This is normal and natural. As humans, we always seek novelty to keep us engaged.


I want to bring in something fresh, so that I can be motivated to exercise consistently. This also can help dealing with pain, since doing new movements, and exposing the body to different stimuli, can help retrain old pain circuits.

 

With all that, I think what I'd like to do for a least a month is to try some rings exercises.


I've had these rings for a while, but haven't really gotten around to using them. It was kinda hassle to set it up and take it down every time I was going to workout.


But this time, I found a spot where I can leave it up permanently. That really reduces the barrier to getting started. I just have head to where they are and I can start my workout.


Here are some reason why I think practicing rings will be good for me right now.


1) Trying new movements can help me deal with my pain.


As I study more and more about pain, I'm learning that long lasting pain (chronic pain) has its links in emotion and stress, and not just in physical injury.


So a big step in addressing that would be trying new movements, and exposing the body to different types of stimulus . This will allow my body to understand that it's safe to move in different ways and I don't have to feel so afraid of hurting myself.


I'm hoping that through some rings work, my body can improve its emotions around exercise. (Specifically not to be so afraid, and not to tighten up so much)


2) I want to do a Pull movement


If The Pull is an essential human movement, and I need a strong back to be fit for life, then I need to find ways to incorporate it into my plan.


Because most of my workout has been floor and body weight, I've been focusing more on pushing movements (pushups or planks) and squats and hips. Different types of lower body movements.


My goal here is to bring in some Pull, and cover that oversight.


3) I want to enjoy myself


Since all I've been doing are stretching and movement on the mat, it's been getting kinda repetitive for now. (Not that I'll never do it again, I just need a break)


Doing rings would freshen up my sessions. And I like hanging around. It reminds me of playing on the monkey bars as I kid.


I think if I'm not enjoying my workouts, I don't need to bang my head against the wall and force myself to always do the same thing. Right now, at this point, I feel like it's more important for me to enjoy my workouts. That way they'll be something I look forward to, and I'll be less likely to skip.

 

This is all just an experiment. If it doesn't work out, I can still adjust. I'm not saying the rings are the be and end all of workouts. I just want to try it, and based on what I've said, I think it gives me what I may need right now. And as I'm going through it, I'll be observing and seeing how my body reacts.


I think taking a long term fitness mentality accepts that I don't have to do the same thing forever. I have to find ways to be flexible and adapt to my needs at any given time. It means recognising when to continue, but also knowing when it's time to make changes, so that I can keep taking small steps towards life long fitness.