The 8 Patterns of Fitness

In this series, I’m going to share some thoughts about the eight patterns of Integre8t Fitness. With these fundamentals in place, you can expect to see enhanced results from your mobile personal training plan. These concepts apply to all fitness and wellness programs. They are the patterns of your lifestyle. Within eight weeks, you can begin to make infinite progress.

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Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 1 of 8: Breath

The first, and therefore most essential pattern, is breath. You can survive weeks without food and days without water, but only minutes, or even seconds, without air.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 2 of 8: Hydration

There are many symptoms of dehydration, because a lack of water impacts everything in your body. Are you hungry, despite eating recently?

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 3 of 8: Nutrition

Our modern world has made eating far more complicated than it needs to, and has become a point of confusion for many people. There is no mystery: Eat healthful foods in sensible quantities.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 4 of 8: Strength

Strength is not only the ability to move against forces, it’s also an important factor in control, stabilization and power.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 5 of 8: Conditioning

For decades the assumption has been that performing monotonously at a medium pace for a long time is a great way to burn fat; however, the more current research shows that this is not necessarily true.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 6 of 8: Flexibility

Doing a minute of bouncing around and grunting at the beginning, and then skipping it outright at the end is definitely not helping you. Healthy joints that perform efficient movements require a balance of strength and flexibility.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 7 of 8: Focus

Set aside a few minutes each day to experience something sensuous, or to allow your mind to wander. It isn’t good for your focus to always be so focused. You really do need to take your lunch break.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 8 of 8: Rest

Sleep, fasting between meals, time between sets during exercise sessions, days between training, personal time, play: All of these (and more) are opportunities to give yourself the ability to process and recover from all the living you do.

The seventh pattern is focus. In many wellness programs there’s a strong spiritual component included at some point. I know that’s very important to some people, and I myself believe that there’s more than what we can perceive, measure, quantify, or understand. However, I personally do not want to be a guru. I don’t have “the answers” (unless your question is, “Do I really have to stop using margarine?”), and I certainly don’t want to position myself as a religious advisor or mystic.

How does Focus figure in this strategy for personal training?

With that being said, I know that we’re whole beings comprised of many modalities of health. I’m not a psychiatrist or a therapist, but I know firsthand how crucial it is to treat these parts of our wellbeing with care. This portion of Integre8t Wellness acknowledges the importance of our intangibilities, and the inexorable way our Selves affect ourselves.

Our thoughts affect our perspectives, assumptions, attitudes, perceptions, and actions. Those in turn influence our emotions, and, through them, our environments and situations. It is for this reason that the ability to focus intentionally is so important. This is the reason making optimism a priority can change the entire course of your day. I’m not implying you can or should be happy all the time. I’m saying that understanding what you want to accomplish and remaining open to the various ways in which that might be accomplished is a strong indicator of how successful you’re likely to be.

 

Many times the “who,” “when,” “where,” and “how” are completely out of our control, but we can define the “what” and the “why.” For some people a general sense of purpose or direction is enough, while others (like myself) prefer specifically defined goals. Whatever combination of those you prefer, it’s important that you identify what you want and why you want it. That’s the motivation that keeps you balanced when preconceived notions go awry. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Thank you, John Lennon.

Stressors abound, and other people’s emotions and problems are contagious. All these distractions pull your attention away from your intention. Hello, Stress! What’s up, Fear! How you been, Doubt?

 

Regaining your sense of balance and center

Meditation is an option; however, reconnecting with your intent doesn’t have to be so formal or esoteric. It doesn’t have to be a ritual, but merely a practice. Set aside a few minutes each day to experience something sensuous, or to allow your mind to wander. It isn’t good for your focus to always be so focused. You really do need to take your lunch break.

Look at the sky. Smell coffee brewing at any of the 13 Starbucks on every block. Listen to a water fountain. Savor the $10 chocolate truffle (but only one). Feel the breeze on your skin.

These are opportunities to remember yourself. These simple pleasures are the moments our bodies gift to our minds, hearts, and spirits. Reflect on them, if only briefly. What lessons or ideas do they inspire? You can find connections between anything in the universe. The connections may not always be obvious, but they are there. Not every solution is born out of office meetings with everyone frantically throwing their version of spaghetti at every wall in the room (though that has its place, too).

In terms of meditation, I’m not asking you to go find Buddha (though if you do, tell him I said it’s his turn to buy the $10 truffle). I want you to simply take five minutes to let your mind wander away from your responsibilities. Ignore them for a moment. Don’t worry: They’ll still be there when you come back. When the volume on your problems get muted you’ll finally hear yourself, instead of the noise from all the “important stuff” you have to do.

A softer focus

Focus doesn’t have to be an action. It doesn’t have to be a laser cauterizing an item on your to-do list for taking over the world. It can be a result or a realization, or even a reminder. Allowing the outside world to dim for a moment often illuminates the answers, ideas, or solutions you already had. For the purposes of this program, focus isn’t so much the sun at noon as it is the sun at dawn.

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