When we train, we have to remember that there is more to it than just doing the routine. There are certain aspects of our being aside from our physical body that we have to consider conditioning. Our mind is a very powerful weapon that can be used even in training. Among many things, it controls our feelings, emotions, and perspectives. Let’s take a look at what can help condition both your mind and body to help you get more out of your training, specifically for swimming.
While it is true that swimming has a lower impact on your body than other sports, this does not mean that your body needs less attention. Your body still gets tired. Swimming is highly recommended as it works on all aspects of your body but it still adds on a great amount of stress. A lot of athletes push themselves to the limit and use up a lot of that energy by training overtime with heavy workouts, putting themselves on a diet, and sacrificing hours that should be used for a bit of socializing. What do we do to refuel that energy? Refueling your energy and keeping yourself from being “burnt out” takes more than physical needs. What usually comes to mind is food, water and rest. While food can be perceived as a reward for your body, the mind is in control of the discipline. Your mind has to want to keep that discipline or else the urge to have extra junk food will kick in. Once your mind is conditioned for a proper diet you will notice that the cravings for unhealthy food will decrease. Keeping yourself hydrated is very important. You’d be surprised at how many athletes forget to drink enough water. Water helps maintain strength and a clear mind. Make it a habit to drink water after a few laps until your body gets used to it. Resting is the easiest but not the least important. Without proper rest, it does not matter how good you are at keeping a diet. You have to get ample amount of sleep (usually set at 8 hours a day). Insufficient rest hinders the detoxification and repairing tissue damage in the body and your mind suffers too.
Stress takes a toll on both the mind and the body. Your mind and body tend to go into overdrive when you are stressed. Mental stress is seen having a greater effect on people than physical stress. This is because your mind is your processor. It controls your emotions and then your body reacts to it. Keeping a healthy, happy mind set will help keep you fully functional. If you don’ beat your record today don’t stress out and train an extra hour. Explore a healthier mental approach. First, clear and ease your mind. Check yourself once in a while to make sure that there is a balance. Keep your mind and body clear from negativity. This way you can focus more on the goal at hand. Attracting negativity will only hinder you from what you want to achieve. Unwind by giving time to social activities. Being around your loved ones nourishes you and calms you on a deeper level. Relaxing is important too, so don’t sacrifice it. When you give yourself a good dose then you may revisit your workout and strategies to improve. Endurance does not come easy. Don’t be too serious about your training all the time. Swimming can also be similar to meditation. Studies show that being around the water has a powerful effect on the brain. It is said to make you happier, healthier, more connected to yourself, and rejuvenates a tired mind.
Being an athlete comes with physical and mental injuries from time to time. When struggling with a physical injury don’t brave it out and use the line “mind over matter”. In this case, if you don’t mind, it does matter. Tend to the pain and rehabilitate before continuing your work out. You might make things worse by ignoring it. Give your body some tender loving care from time to time. Same goes for dealing with problems that life throws at you. Deal with it before it eats you from the inside out.
Balance is the key. Being aware of your needs versus your wants can strengthen you and help you achieve your goal and sometimes even beyond what you expected.