Hello my friends! I am back after taking last week off, just cause I could. The perks of being my own boss here. I hope everyone had an awesome week last week. To kick off another great week, this is The WOW! – The Workout of the Week, from GoodAttitudeFood.com. This is “The Practice of “Practicing Mindfulness During a Workout” Workout.
This week I will be talking about Mindfulness. How applying mindfulness during a workout can help deal with everyday life stresses. The Mindful Athlete, By George Mumford, inspired the idea for this post. We will dig into the book a little.
A new section will be added to the post this week as well – The FOOD! I am thinking this will be a weekly addition.
The Music this week will feature a great Chillhop playlist from the Chillhop Music Channel.
The Workout will be three rounds; more run/walk intervals and the goal of getting four days of 7,000 steps per day, a Tabata circuit routine, and a great Tai Chi video!
The Mindful Athlete – By George Mumford
George Mumford wrote an amazing book in The Mindful Athlete. Anyone interested can find out more about Mumford on his website, which includes where to find his book.
I got the Audiobook on Audible. I am on my fourth time listening to it now. The book is full of wisdom, science, life stories, and tips to help anyone practice his mindfulness practice techniques.
People might not recognize Mumford’s name immediately, but I bet most people know some of the people he has coached! Two of the greatest NBA dynasties in the modern era can be tied to Mumford’s work.
Phil Jackson, who is often called “The Zen Master” of Coaches, hired Mumford to work with his teams. This relationship resulted in eight NBA championships!
Mumford is credited for turning Kobe Bryant, Shaq, and Michael Jordan into the champion leaders they became as their careers evolved. He has worked with countless others to teach these techniques.
The Autonomic Nervous System
Much of “mindfulness” is really just the ability to focus on the breath. The science of this comes when we study the human body’s Autonomic Nervous System – thanks Wiki. Mumford goes into the science of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems in the book.
To paraphrase the ideas:
The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) is our body’s defense system against the harsh environment of the natural world. It is our defense against a bunch of stuff that could take us out. It is where the “fight or flight” responses generate from stimuli around us. The “lizard brain” or “the monkey brain”. The quick reaction of self-defense without thought. It causes an increase in heart rate, increased breathing, other chemical reactions internally; which all prepare a human to either run for their life or fight off a threat.
The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) does basically the opposite. It calms the body down. Slows down breathing and heart rate. Releases calming chemical reactions in the body. It elicits a “rest and digest” type response instead of a run or fight response.
In this context, “mindfulness” is the ability to focus our mind on our breath. Breathing is the link between the SNS and PSNS. When faced with stressful stimuli a person can mentally focus the breath and create a response in the body that enacts the PSNS.
Focusing on breath reduces the fight or flight response. It enacts a calming “digest this stimuli before you freak out” response. It gives us the ability to think and then take action.
By using breath we can consciously enact the PSNS. We just have to focus our mind on our breath! That’s it!
In this we allow ourselves to think beyond the flight or fight response which allows us to process information and act with conscious intention instead of unconscious fear response instinct.
This works peeps! If you are stressed. Take a few minutes and just breath. Focus your mind on our breath. Close your eyes and breath and just think about breathing.
You will feel it!
More in the Book
This is just part of what Mumford talks about in The Mindful Athlete. The book goes deeper on this topic but also has a wealth of other knowledge.
Mindful breath in workouts
Earlier in the week, I had a breakthrough. I was listening to The Mindful Athlete and doing sprint/walk Tabata sets #ninemilecreektrail. Going pretty hard, by the third Tabata I was breathing very heavy, close to hyperventilation, but just kept bringing my mind back to focusing on my breath.
Things clicked at that moment.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) work, like Tabata sets, creates some pretty extreme stress. It’s a little like simulating other stressful situations.
I found that during the workout, focusing on the breath allows for quick recovery. I have known this but never put the thoughts together in a way that clicked like Mumford’s book did.
Peeling back the onion… Just practicing this (focus on the breath) during a workout will help me when other everyday day stresses come up in life. It will strengthen my ability to enact the PSNS, and increase my ability to “rest and digest”. #newsuperpowerdiscovered
WOOOO. Deep stuff kids!
There is a ton of stuff out about this book. Impact Theory did a show with him and feature his book prior to that. Mumford has done many interviews, including an hour-long Google Talk. There are many videos with his stuff on YouTube. Phil Jackson was on Oprah’s show talking about it – Great interview btw.
I highly recommend this book – The Mindful Athlete. It is great for anyone, not just the Athlete. There is so much more value in the book than what I have talked about. I barely touched the surface.
The Food – Steak, peppers, eggs, romaine
Check the VIDEO
“The Food” is a section I think I will into the weekly post. I don’t know why adding a food section to the weekly post took so long for me to think of. Haha. Totally makes sense though since my site at least in part is about food! The food we eat, but also the “food” we feed our mind like thoughts and books and ideas and the media we consume.
Red, yellow, and green bell peppers. Four egg omelet (cut into pieces after cooking to mix into the salad) with jalapeno and a little shredded cheese. About a 9-ounce steak fillet. Chopped romaine. A bit of shredded cheese. Green salsa for the dressing.
With a grill pan, I cooked the steak about 5 minutes on each side. *Cooking time is dependent upon thickness. Thinner = less time, thicker = more time. I am not super exact with it. I go by site and feel, and just know from practice how long to cook a steak. My steak was about 1.5 inches thick. I “roasted” all the bell peppers in the grill pan along with the steak – about 5 minutes.
Then just kind of tossed all that together.
The Music – Summer Chillhop!
Summer is here and I am digging the summer music. The feature this week is last summer’s hits from Chillhop Music, linked below. Get your summer flowing with some chill beats and fun jazz riffs. The Chillhop Music Youtube channel has HOURS of great beats just like this! Check out their channel here! The beats are awesome, the music is good, and they even have a bunch of cool artwork in the background. Perfect tunes to help find the flow!
Round 1 – 7,000 Steps a day, 4 days out of the week, any way you can get em.
Round 1 of the workout is finding a way to hit the goal of 7,000 steps or more at least 4 days out of the week. I am doing this with combinations of walk/run interval workouts in any place I can do. I also might mix in a round of disc golf or HIIT disc golf to get those steps. Even things like walking in the grocery store or shopping mall count!
7,000 steps. At least 4 days a week. #LPSAGs
I like to do sprint/walk Tabatas. They get you breathing heavy. I try really hard to focus on mindful breathing after each 20-second sprint.
Early in the week I posted on the GoodAttitudeFood Instragram page about
Round 2 – Tabata Ciruit – 3 days this week or more
Tabata = Eight intervals of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. I used my android phone app interval timer.
I will be trying to practice mindful breathing during this set. By that I mean just really focusing on moving with the breath and keeping my mind focused on breath and form and movement.
Circuit 1 – Abs – do these four moves, then repeat for the Tabata set.
- Right side plank
- Left side plank
- Flat plank
Circuit 2 – RBFTB – Resistance band work – do these four moves, then repeat for the Tabata set. **With resistance band anchored.
- Wood Choppers Right — Thanks Mind Pump TV for the demo and explanation of variations of this exercise!
- Wood Choppers Left
- Standing bench
- Pullbacks (reverse the standing bench by facing the opposite direction and pulling back instead of pushing forward.
- Reverse Butterflies (same idea as pullbacks – reverse the motion we did for butterflies).
- 1-2 combos
Circuit 3 – body weight strength moves. Do these four moves twice for the full Tabata set.
- Regular push ups
Jake Mace Tai Chi video. This one is pretty good. Jake is in Paris shooting this workout. I found this video to be fun and challenging. Check it for yourself. Jake’s videos are great for anyone looking to gain some health benefits from Tai Chi.
Breathing is a big part of this routine. What a coincidence. 🙂
Have an Awesome and Mindful Week!
There you have it, my friends! The WOW – The Workout of the Week. The Practice of “Practicing Mindfulness During a Workout” Workout! Thank you SO MUCH for reading! Thank you, thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you, to all the amazing content providers!
Be Happy and healthy … and mindful my friends! Rest and digest, BREATHE. Be the mindful hero in your story! 🙂