Listening to your body!

Listening to your body!

Written by Michelle Daniel, owner of The Lifestyle Technique, LLC

What does it mean to listen to your body? It means being in tune with how you feel on any given day. This can mean noticing your breathing pattern, feeling fatigue, your mindset, or maybe your legs feel tired. The body and mind are deeply interconnected. Although its easy to say just listen to your body, its sometimes not that easy. Life can be busy and rushing to the next meeting, scheduled event, or activity can leave little time to maintain perspective on yourself. Taking the time to understand different messages and cues your body sends is important especially during your Air Force Marathon race training when you may encounter challenges and you may not always feel your greatest along the way.

Why is it important to listen to your body? Our bodies are smart and sends us subtle messages and cues to what is going on with stress and readiness. If you learn to listen to your body’s messages or cues, it can help save us from injury and illness. By tuning and listening to the messages your body is telling you each day whether it is about food, fitness, digestive issues, or stress, it allows us to take care of ourselves more efficiently. By not listening to our body and missing these subtle cues, it may make us more distant from being able to care for ourselves as efficiently as we can. So many times, people are dependent on devices telling us if we have gotten enough sleep or not, giving us feedback on our runs, and not allowing us to truly listen to our body. I am not saying these devices are bad, but it doesn’t allow us to truly tune into how we may be feeling.

For example, noticing what our breathing and heart rate feels like during certain training efforts is important in how a runner grows. Now if someone is having pain or more fatigue than usual then it may be wise to take a pause and take inventory on what our body needs. Take the feedback your body is giving you from your pace, mileage, and effort because this can help prevent overuse injury and pains. It can also give us cues on needing to stay better hydrated, adjusting your nutritional needs, or telling us we may need new shoes.

In our society it is common to normalize certain symptoms like aches, pains, digestive issues, and low energy just to name a few. Here are two quick checklists that have helped others listen to their body’s and determine on how to adjust training needs as they arise.

Internal Checklist– Do I feel good and positive, or do I feel stressed? Has my nutrition been good today? Am I adequately hydrated? Have I gotten enough sleep?

External Checklist– How is my running form? Structurally how am I feeling? How do I feel from the base up-how do my feet feel at contact? Are my knees and hips feeling good? Is my core engaged or am I slouching?

This checklist can be simple, quick, and allows you to mentally connect your mind and your body. Hope this helps!

**Also, please mark your calendars to join me at 1pm on Friday, September 16th at the AIR FORCE MARATHON EXPO for a very gentle yoga session. Details to come shortly.**

*No Federal endorsement(s) intended.