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How to Work Out Smarter, Not Harder

November, 2020

Feeling that Thanksgiving exercise motivation? Learn how to work out smarter, not just harder, today and every day! Image courtesy Andrea Piacquadio on Unsplash.

Ah, Thanksgiving. For many of us, it’s a time for gratitude and connection. It’s also a time when many people’s minds turn to exercise to offset the rich and abundant food on the menu. How can we make that extra push, enjoy it, and not injure ourselves in the process? Due to the pandemic, more and more of us are working out at home, without our usual exercise partners or in-person access to recreational facilities. Now’s the perfect time to learn to work out smarter, rather than harder.

Exercising harder and longer on top of poor structural alignment is like continuing to drive a car with a mechanical problem. Better to address the root of the problem so nothing slows you down long-term. Image courtesy Pixabay on Pexels.

#1: Fix your posture
Fixing your posture helps you work relevant muscles more efficiently. It also prevents unnecessary wear and tear. When people want to get more exercise, they often simply increase the time spent or the intensity of their exercise. Sometimes they drive themselves to exercise more because of an injury. But if they don’t address systematic posture problems while exercising, they may in fact exacerbate their injury. The analogy that comes to mind is driving a car with a crooked axle. If the car begins to have problems, the solution is not to drive extra or drive faster; you need to fix the axle. Fixing your posture can do wonders for getting more out of your exercise time.

If our daily activities are done with good posture, they can dovetail with exercise. Image courtesy Mark Timberlake on Unsplash.

#2: Use your daily-life activities as the main dish in your regimen
We’re all busier than ever, so it makes sense that it’s challenging to shoehorn separate exercise time into our schedules. A way around this is to use the activities you do every day, around the home and/or office, as the central piece of your exercise regime. Much like this recent Medium piece in which a Japanese writer shares the central role walking plays in keeping Japanese people fit without dedicated gym time, using our bodies wisely as we go about our day means that exercise is built into everything we do. Think of it as clever, efficient multitasking for the body.

To really encourage healthy habits to stick, it helps to do them in community — whether that’s friends, family, or fellow participants, or a combination. Image courtesy Andrea Piacquadio on Unsplash.

#3: Include friends and family if you're going to dedicate time for a workout
Working out smarter can also happen by incorporating the community aspect of exercise. It’s simply smarter to double up your exercise time with social time by exercising with friends, family, or online classmates. Working out with others is wonderful for both habit retention and our mental well-being. On this very strange Thanksgiving, where we can’t be together in the usual ways, having a ready-made vehicle for time spent together safely is another purpose that exercise can serve. Everyone within a family has their individual exercise needs that are valid and more important than ever to satisfy, so be sure to pick something with variety that is accessible to everyone.

We aren’t machines, but humans born of rich traditions, who need things like art, music, dance, and culture to thrive. Exercise that incorporates such enrichments satisfies multiple needs simultaneously. Image courtesy Omotayo Tajudeen on Unsplash.

#4: Include art, music, dance, and culture
You only have but so many hours in the day, and art, music, dance, and culture are universal human needs that must be met somehow. Especially in COVID times, when we cannot attend live, in-person performances, go out dancing in groups, or easily visit museums, incorporating art, music, dance, and culture into our exercise helps fill our primal human need for creative input and enlivens our spirits. And our spirits can use every boost they can get these days!

Every journey begins with a single step. Why not start yours today? Image courtesy Bruno Nascimiento on Unsplash.

Get going on the good foot, starting today
With the live, daily Gokhale Exercise program, we have arrived at just this combination of ingredients. Starting out with figuring out how to meet my own needs, I realized the audience has roughly the same needs for a textured, multi-layered, upbeat offering. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re offering 3 free days of access to our vibrant and ever-growing Gokhale Exercise program, beginning today. Feel free to invite your friends and family to join you in a safe way this Thanksgiving weekend.

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