In order to take your training to the next level, sometimes you need to get a little uncomfortable. The key is to learn to listen to your body to determine what is real pain that could cause injury and what is discomfort that comes with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Here some tactics that you can try to see what works best for you:
1. Repeat a mantra: A positive mantra can go a long way! I have my clients repeat things either out loud or to themselves things like, “I’m awesome! I’m awesome! I’m awesome!”, “quick feet,…”, “Strength,…”, or anything positive that you want to repeat.
2. Focus outside of yourself: While I’m all about being present and in the moment, there are times when challenging yourself physically that an outside distraction can make the time fly by. For example, while doing our 1-minute plank, I ask someone to tell us a Plank-Story. Someone will then share an experience, a story, or a joke. This allows us to focus on what the person is saying rather than the discomfort of doing the plank.
3. Remember: Whenever my clients push themselves outside of their comfort zones, I take some time during our cool-down to have them pay attention to how they feel. I’ve found that when people push outside of their comfort zone, and they are cooling down, there is a glow, giddiness, and a real sense of accomplishment in them. I ask them to enjoy and remember this feeling. This is what one needs to remember when the pain of exercise discomfort sets in. The reward of an amazing sense of joy and accomplishment is so worth a few minutes of discomfort.
4. You can do anything for _____ minutes. Sometimes when we are at the end of a workout, I remind my clients that, “You’re strong. You can do anything for 3 minutes (or whatever time is left). This is when you can say in your head, “Yes, I am, and yes, I can.”.
Good luck this month as you venture outside of your comfort zone!
Your Partner in Health,
Carol Frazey, M.S.
P.S. To learn more ways to push your limits, check out 12 Ways to Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone by SparkPeople. You may even see a familiar name! http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=2107