Train & Talk – Good for the Body and Mind

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

In a time when terms like “man up” are seen as archaic, coarse and ignorant (all three being correct), it’s amazing how often I still hear the term. It wasn’t until recently however that I really stood up and noticed just how much this attitude is affecting people.

I’ve never really had any mental health problems besides from a little work-induced stress a few years back when I was in an industry I didn’t enjoy. I’ve solely relied on my own empathetic nature to try and reassure and be there for people that I care for.

Recently I needed a little help and reaching out and making a referral and writing my thoughts down helped a lot and led to a platform to learn more about how to deal with negativity and the things that come with it.

At the same time as reaching out I also joined a gym and assigned the help of a PT for the start of my new fitness journey. I’d decided it was time to focus on my own well being both inside and out and hope both would buoy each other on, and I wasn’t wrong.

Learning about the mind and how it responds to negativity and it’s adverse effects on the body was extraordinary. Of particular interest to me was the explanation of fight or flight mode. I never realised that the way our bodies react to any threat is very much linked to prehistoric times and how physical predatory threats were dealt with; sweat to make us slippery, dilated pupils and a heightened adrenaline leading to heightened senses that make us more aware, and evacuating our bowels to make us lighter so we can run from said predator at a faster speed.

Nowadays, there is no predatory threat so these things manifest in dodgy stomachs, migraines and cold sweats that we don’t need so it basically just makes us physically ill. The heightened senses lead us to over-sensitivity to sound and vision and possibly even people’s words. For me, that’s where “man up” comes into play and just needs to do one.

Man up is a horrible thing to say, but let’s try and turn it into a positive. For me, I needed a focus outside of work, and that became the gym and working out with the added benefit of releasing endorphins related to physical excursion and feeling the positivity of taking care of myself. With my PT I took a health MOT, had a workout and diet plan created and received plenty of guidance at the gym.

I started to push myself, and after a few weeks I was wanting to go to the gym three, four sometimes even five times a week and looking forward to it. I started noticing my errors in form in certain exercises and after four weeks I carried out the same fitness test and health MOT as when I started and I beat the records set in week one in all fields.

The positivity this yielded, coupled together with my PT and the stress buster classes has led to a better state of mind for me that realises just how important it is to try and get the mind and body in shape, and then keep it up.

Mental health issues won’t just go away and the things causing them may not be going anywhere either but anybody can change their own direction. If I hadn’t made myself a referral, spoke about my feelings, and joined a gym (with clear direction and goals in place), where would I be? More importantly, what would my state of mind be?

For me, being busy with work, the gym, and spinning along with making sure I move my body in some sort of way on days off from the gym (a cycle or a walk) have made the times when I am at home all the more sweeter. Rather than ruminating on things and overthinking absolutely everything I’ve been able to relax, switch off and enjoy my downtime.

So the takeaways from this are; make sure you DO speak and don’t be afraid to identify emotions and feelings of stress and anxiety as weakness, DO find a focus, DO get outside, DO exercise. Talk, talk and then talk some more. Surprise yourself by pushing yourself in both body and mind in a way that works for you and you won’t regret it.

#health #fitness #wellness