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Focus and resilience

A happy Christmas scene.

The recently enforced exercising outdoors may have one benefit for those of us who work out, in that offers the opportunity to build resilience and focus when training.

There are many positives to exercising in a gym, but there are also negatives.

One of the downsides (particularly in a busy gym) is the potential for distraction and losing training time in conversation or comparing ourselves to others on the gym floor. The latter can be a particular problem as exercise includes a visual element which can lead us to make comparisons with others who may be bigger, more advanced in their workout, or have a more balanced aesthetic.

All of which can draw attention from where the focus of training should be - which is on the person training. When stepping away from these distractions into an environment such as a park, where such distractions are more limited, we have the opportunity to move our focus back onto ourselves and what we should be doing, which is refining our training techniques.

This new lockdown, denying us such social distractions, also allows us to take back control over why we exercise in the first place. In a gym environment, it can often seem as if we are exercising because of peer pressure coming from those around us, who appear to be doing so much better than we are.

Perception over experience, again.

It is the mental dimension to training that makes the difference in the short-term (and even more in the longer-term), especially when you are your own personal trainer and apply the positives from disciplined training both on and off the gym floor.

The reality is that when we train we do so for ourselves, for a variety of complex reasons, some of which are aesthetic, but which also include strength and health-building, as well as aiming for a long-term and energetic life, whilst enjoying that life to the full (which we are more likely to do with a fit body and agile mind).

So, train with renewed focus during the lockdown and wherever you workout take pride in building resilience when exercising in the great outdoors, even during the grey days of January or February. In the medium and long-term that resilience will pay off in terms of greater confidence, enhanced self-awareness and better fitness, just in time for when the gym doors reopen once again.