With signs of summer finally making an appearance, I thought this the perfect opportunity to address the importance of listening to our bodies. They do so much for us, so it’s vital that during the summer heat, we slow down a little, listen, and become okay with this stillness.
As of late I have been lucky enough to meet and work alongside some truly inspirational characters, all of whom take a refreshingly holistic approach to their own well-being. They have helped me, more than ever, to take a step back, listen to my body, and acknowledged the somewhat damaging effects of my perfectionism.
Often, for a long distance runner like myself, the summer months go hand in hand with intense racing. Last year for example, I took part in four half marathons between July and September. And whilst I adored every second of every race, the training was a little tumultuous, both physically and emotionally, due to the pressure I placed upon my own shoulders. Every little flaw in my running became a major issue as I strove for perfection. As a result, after a great race season, my legs were ruined for the winter and I had to take two months out, prohibited from taking part in my favourite thing in the world.
So this summer, inspired greatly by my recent participation in the Made to Move series, and a few other beautiful souls, I have chosen to opt out of a vast majority of races.
Instead I will be thoroughly enjoying my running without the pressure of competing. I have also signed up for unlimited yoga classes at my favourite hot yoga studio – Inspire – and cannot wait to start my yoga journey. Yoga is always something I have put second place to intense exercise, thus I have always enjoyed it, yet never really experienced the benefits to their full holistic potential.
It is this kind of mindful movement that I encourage anyone to adopt into their lives over the next few months. Rather than pounding our bodies, let’s make time for movement that nourishes our summer souls. Maybe every week we could try swapping one intense gym session for a new yoga class, a gentle jog in nature, or meditation. Each of these will help strengthen the body as well as the mind and allow us to adjust to the new season.
Take time to flood your body with the increased serotonin (the feel good hormone) that we experience as the sun light shines, and let go of the pressure to workout for that ‘summer body’. All we need for ‘summer bodies’ is the sunshine and our beings.
Give yourself a break.
Lots of love,