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Try to Push-up Towards Better Mental Health - When Exercising is about the MIND!

how workouts help train mind
Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash
This isn’t just another article about positive thinking. This discussion is essentially a condensed narrative of how I have struggled, fought and also won small battles en route to trying to create a better lifestyle. You might think that push-ups are meant for pectoral gains only. Believe me, the connection between push-ups and mental health is very real, easy to understand and can be pursued by anyone who is above 15 yrs of age…the image captures the essence of a push-up regimen. What seems like a long flight of empty stairs can be the challenge of a lifetime for someone chasing cardio gains. All of a sudden the dead, dull steel and concrete seems to have all the weapons to break your resolve. But, you must persist...!

What to Expect? It is hard getting used to. You need to "push" yourself towards imbibing any new habit. This is not easy when you have to get down on all four. All of a sudden what seemed like lame ground of the room becomes a challenge. This is about a change in your everyday living patterns. Push-ups might seem easy but staying loyal to them, following the correct form and ensuring effective intensity is difficult. I took the approach of using my Push-up time as an additional means to establish a more constructive mindset. Yes, it has all the ingredients I think are necessary for success = grind, grit, sweat, redemption and that feeling of accomplishment!

Getting started: the first few days can be brutal. Even if they are no psychological triggers, the old habit of looking at things in a cynical way finds ways of emerging in the most unexpected manner. Doing Push-ups in the right way has similar challenges. After the first few sets, your triceps hurt, sweat drips down your forehead and you feel a stretch along your neck. Just when it seems you have done enough reps, talk to yourself – you need to do one more set of at least 15 reps!

Regularity: ask any regular gym-going person and one common wisdom you can expect from them is – you gotta do Push-ups everyday to get the real benefits. Positive thinking is very similar. You need to practice it every day. Once-a-week efforts just aren’t sufficient for becoming optimist or muscular.

Raising the intensity: once you try to hang on to positive thoughts, you will realize that there are so many opportunities through the day that test your resolve. Nearly every interaction or situation can be handled with a positive or negative way of thinking. You have to raise the intensity. Call upon your inner resolve to take upon harder, more testing situations and still stay optimistic.

Doing Push-ups can help control, train the mind: The ideal posture where your arms should be bent in the start-up position and pushed down to your chest level can be very demanding. Different Push-ups postures like close grips for triceps, wider grip for pectorals, Spiderman Push-ups, Diamond Push-ups and the one-handed variety can take their toll on your energy. You must cultivate the habit of boosting yourself mentally and finding a reason for one more set!

In a follow-up to this discussion, I will discuss more personal experiences about how exercising can be therapeutic for the mind too…plz feel free to share your story

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