Working Out Au Naturel
This time au naturel does not mean naked or sans deodorant. It means in the natural state - without technology. Leave your Garmin at home, turn off your iPhone tracking, and if you really must have music (as I usually do), try going “old school” and charging up that iPod shuffle you have lying around somewhere. Workouts have become overly driven by data. If you do not have stats that are shareable, post-able, and applaudable, did the workout even happen? You need only to look to your natural metrics, your endorphins, metabolism boost and sweaty t-shirt to know that it did.
I recently started running again and I have been going outside, with just some music and my trusty Casio, which tracks nothing but the old fashioned passing of time. I am trying to embrace this phase of exercise that is based purely on how my body is feeling. It is not the time for me to push and sweat ’til I drop. I am not training for anything but my health and for the enjoyment of moving my body. It is strange and usually more than a little uncomfortable. I run until I start to feel tired, then I walk until I feel ready to run again. For the first “run” I lasted around one whole block. The second try I ran just the flat parts of my favorite Santa Barbara trail. (What’s up, Jesusita!!) Each time I make it a little further, but stop when I feel fatigue coming on.
After years of being driven by stats, numbers, training schedules and the ever looming necessity to be able to run for ninety minutes, I have to pay close attention to recognize that tired feeling as a signal to stop. My soccer brain wants to push right through it. Movement based on feeling is a great challenge. If I were using my fancy shmancy Garmin watch and tracking distance while I re-enter this runner’s world, it would be much harder for me to stop. The temptation to finish this mile, or to run far enough to brag about it would be too great. When in full health and striving for a particular goal, this method is incredibly useful. For returning to basic, general health- not so much. It is healthy to take a break from the technological noise to really listen to our bodies.
Step outside and see where your feet take you. Exercise au naturel.