By Recon John, Body-Mind Coach, StrongFirst Instructor, MovNat Certified Trainer
"Fitness" is a word that gets used a lot these days.
The way it's used by most "fitness" trainers is lacking. Some trainers define it as merely "how you look naked." Other trainer's define it as "how much you're willing to sweat and suffer." Both of these approaches are weak and harmful as an overall fitness philosophy.
A Total Approach To Fitness
As a coach, I've found fitness is best defined as competency across four key areas:
Physical Fitness: Are you able to move well, move often, and move strongly with low body fat and minimal pain?
Humans are physical beings. We must live our lives in this body, and so, at the material level, we are our body. High physical fitness provides us with abundant energy for our other areas of fitness to thrive.
Emotional Fitness: Are you emotionally resilient, or are negative emotions holding you back?
Humans are emotional beings. Plenty of evidence has shown that negative emotional states cause us to make choices that hurt ourselves, our family, and our community. The quality of our life is largely felt through the quality of our emotional states.
Mental Fitness: Are you able to focus on a task deeply enough to find a Flow State?
Humans are mental beings. If we are scatterbrained and distracted, we easily fall prey to negative forces. Our ability to think clearly about our tasks, and then focus our efforts on the right task, is what allows us to perform well in the things we do.
Spiritual Fitness: Are you aiming at your highest purpose while engaging in the present moment?
Humans are spiritual beings. If we don't feel our purpose, we don't feel motivated. When our motive for being is undetermined, we tend to become careless. Clarifying our highest purpose, creating strategies to move toward it, and actively working on it gives us a special force to draw upon in times of difficulty.
Surviving And Thriving
If one hurts in any one of these areas, it can eventually bring the whole system down. Likewise, there are times when one may be hurting in all of these categories, such as cases extreme anxiety and depression. When one improves his or her fitness in one of these areas, it can cause positive conditions for improvement in the other areas. As part of a strong fitness strategy, Floatation Therapy is a magnificent tool to help people improve in one and all of these categories.
How Floatation Works
We are constantly bombarded by sensory inputs on a daily basis. Phone calls, social media, and a million other distractions are designed to take our attention.
Floatation Therapy, sometimes called R.E.S.T. (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy) is a simple concept: Remove all inputs, and come into better touch with your physiology.
You may think this therapy sounds very "relaxed," and it is. But it also creates tangible performance benefits that Navy SEALs and professional sports teams swear by.
How Floatation Helps Your Physical Fitness
Sleep is a basic part of physical health and wellness. Everyone is different, but most people do best with 7 - 8 hours per night of sleep. Because of its ability to relax the mind and body, floatation has helped me and my students to sleep better at night.
Blood Flow is an important part of allowing the body to heal and rejuvenate itself. When you sit in a chair all day, you restrict the flow of blood in certain parts of your body, and allow it to pool in other parts of your body. Floatation removes the pressure and allows your blood to flow freely.
Practice in Tank: Physical Visualizations are something that I highly recommend you try in the tank for greater physique (outcome) and physical performance (process).
Outcome Visualizations involve visualising our desired physical outcome. For example: If you want to achieve a certain physical goal, you visualize that outcome on a daily basis.
Process Visualizations involve visualising the acts of moving our bodies in our preferred sport or training modality.
Visualizations are a basic aspect of my one-on-one coaching practice because they work. And, because of the unique environment in the tank, they work even better in there.
How Floatation Helps Your Emotional Fitness
Emotional Training is a useful way to conceptualize practices that bring greater awareness and mastery of our emotional states. The tank gives us a special opportunity to feel the physiological sensations of our emotions. It's a prime environment for various practices related our emotions.
Stress Hormones wreak havoc on our health, and most professionals have extreme levels of them. Floatation has been shown to significantly decrease cortisol, the most well known stress hormone.
Practice in Tank: Gratitude Affirmations are the opposite of being angry and resentful. They are quite simple to practice, and can be done especially effectively in the tank.
Try the following: Relax, breathe deeply, and think of three different people in your life that you are grateful for.
If you want to get deeper, contemplate each person, the reasons you feel grateful for them, and send them wishes for wellness. As you do this, pay attention to the feeling of gratitude in your body, and intensify the emotion as much as possible.
About Recon John:
Recon John is a Body-Mind Performance Coach. He holds numerous certifications in a wide variety of fitness, movement and physical training disciplines. He helps individuals and organizations create peak performance by training at the level of physiology and psychology.
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