Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tips on how to endure


I was a chubby kid. I struggled with weight for as long as I remember... What I do is I diet. My discipline is unbreakable back then as I was 20 lbs overweight. By now I realized, dieting by removing a staple food from one's daily intake is the amateur's way to slimming down. I stopped eating rice  for a few years before realizing that it will be futile if I don't move my butt away from the confines of my incredibly comfortable bed.

Everything changed when I discovered exercise. I started with home exercise videos, continued to Bikram yoga classes in Greenhills and Makati, went to the gym in Makati and Mandaluyong, moved on to the yoga studio in Pasig then ended up back to home exercise videos. I bought myself two pairs of dumbbells, a yoga mat and talked myself into strengthening my willpower--it's all you'll ever need, my friend.

Endurance is a natural gift for me, I noticed. I get exhausted. I get winded, quite quickly in fact, as I have asthma. But I picked up a few tips here and there on how to push yourself to maximize your high intensity exercises.

1. Warm up.
I feel how inflexible my body tends to be whenever I start an intense exercise without warming up my joints first. Warm ups are proven* to enhance performance and avoid injury just because it starts up the blood flow before the main exercise starts. It's a cliche but you sabotage exercise if not done with proper warm ups and cool downs. 

2. Find a dot.
I learned this trick from my first ever yoga class, during the practice of the tree pose. Balance** is tricky. Many are born without the natural ability to calm down as they balance and stand on one foot. Tree pose is a measure of how silent you can be while your body adapts to the gravity and settles down into equilibrium. The teacher told us to stare at a dot in the wall and focus. Just give all your attention to that dot until we were told to get out of the pose. I use that trick every time I balance, even outside the mat. It's like you're balancing your mind together with the rest of your body.

This is very helpful in doing plyometrics as well. It forces your eyes into a single space wherein the pain from the jumps (read: rock star jumps) are separate.

3. Breathe out through the mouth.
For interval training, people get so winded that they forget to breathe deeply. I do the same thing unintentionally, I hold my breath because the pain and exhaustion. I consciously breathe in and let the oxygen into my body. I found it better since it made me do the circuits longer and more efficiently. It may take a lot of getting used to though. Just work through it together with your form.

Now, go, lay open that yoga mat and sweat it out!

How long do you workout? Do you easily give up on a session when it gets too hard?

*Bernhardt, G. (n.d.) The real reason you should warm up. Retrieved from
**Cole, R. (n.d.) Plumb Perfect. Retrieved from

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