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Mindfully Conscious Exercising, and a New Pair of Shoes!

Posted Feb 10 2009 10:17am

Hmmm . . . you say when you read the title of today’s post. What kind of new age thing is THIS?!

Don’t worry! I’m going to give you a great tip today for remaining injury free, and it is something you can do all of the time! It is the idea that drives my training, my physical fitness routine, and my personal training philosophy.

In order to remain healthy and injury free, you have to learn to exercise while being mindfully conscious.

So, what does this mean?

Think of your last run (or last workout, last strength training, last cycling event). As you worked out, were you mindfully conscious of the way your body felt? Did you listen to how your shoulders, your neck, and your back felt? Did you pay attention to your knees and your calves and your arms?

If not, you were setting yourself up for injury.

Being mindfully conscious simply means taking some time to listen to your body AND to then react to what it is telling you.

If you aren’t listening, you are setting yourself up for injury.


Let’s talk about running for a minute, shall we?! Have you ever overdone it? Gone too far, gone too fast, and ended up with shin splints or ITBS or some other ailment? If so, you weren’t listening to your body when you ran. Perhaps you were too busy jamming out to Metallica or  considering the day’s schedule and before you knew it your knee was  locking in protest.

Had you taken some time during the workout to become mindfully conscious of what your body was doing this would not have happened.

Same goes with strength training. If you are not paying attention to the proper form or if you are pushing too hard, you are going to end up injured. Once injured you can’t work out-so it is important that you do things correctly, that you remain aware, to keep your body healthy and injury free.

I’m going to be posting on this topic a lot because as I said it is what drives my fitness routine.  What can you do to be more conscious?

  1. Stop and take note. If you are pushing yourself in a run, take a minute out of the music or the thoughts and listen to your body. Go head to toe. Shoulders can hurt when you run the same form for a long time. How are your knees feeling? Your hips? Your feet? Do you need to slow down, or speed up? How is your breathing?
  2. Pay attention to form. During this time pay attention to your form. If you are running, understand how you are holding your body. If it hurts or doesn’t feel right, change the position. If you are doing strength with weights, pay attention to how you are doing the exercise. Is the form correct? If not you are setting yourself up for injury.
  3. How are you feeling overall? Are you tired, happy, sad, energized, depleted? Take these cues into your routine. If you are too tired to go the mileage you wanted to go, listen to that! We often push ourselves (Have to get ten in today, no matter what, even though I don’t feel so well!) and then we end up depleted. If we listen to what our body is saying we’ll learn when to push and when to pull back, and our workouts and our results will be better!

I did 5.7 miles today. Was going to do 7 miles but the knee started to ping! I listened, came home, used the foam roller and stretched.

I bought Brooks shoes yesterday> I’ll post a picture when I get back home. They are nice stability shoes, but I have never run in Brooks. I miss my Saucony’s but the store didn’t have them, and I spent a lot of time looking over my old running shoes with the guy. He showed me how to tell how badly I overpronate, which is pretty badly! He recommended these shoes and I have to say they feel great!

Today we are heading to a few festivals, and the park, and a restaurant. Then we are doing movie night with grandma and ice cream!

Happy weekend runs, runners! Stay injury free and mindfully conscious while you are hitting the pavement!

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