Would you like to know why balancing and toning your nervous system is just as important as working out daily?
Your nervous system has many functions. Two functions specifically are to alert you of danger and to protect you in dangerous situations. The fight or flight function of your sympathetic nervous system should activate your ability to defend yourself against or escape from threats. If we spend too much time in fight or flight a couple of things happen. We can end up exhausted. We can no longer discern true danger and everything feels like a threat. We can feel irritable for no particular reason. We can suffer from impatience.
None of the symptoms of an overtaxed nervous system are pleasant. Ideally we want tone in the nervous system which means the ability to transfer back and forth between parasympathetic and sympathetic functions as needed. In other words the sympathetic nervous system responds to stress, and the parasympathetic calms us appropriately.
We can look at exercise as good stress on the body, but even a workout can simulate that fight or flight sympathetic function. Taking time for recovery between sets, savasana at the end of a yoga class or meditating as much as you exercise are good examples of ways to balance your nervous system.
You might be surprised that I would suggest meditating for the same amount of time that you spend exercising. Perhaps that seems excessive. Maybe you’re struggling just to fit your workout in?
If chronic exhaustion is something you are suffering from and you are tired all the time, do you think pushing yourself harder in a workout is going to give you more energy or break you down?
Temporarily it might give you a boost, but eventually adrenal fatigue leaves people chronically exhausted. It’s like running the car with no gas. Sadly I am speaking from experience. In my early twenties I was known to dance all day from 9am-7pm in rehearsals and classes, take a quick nap when I got home and go out at 10pm or 11pm to dance all night. As long as I was in motion I felt great. But by the time I reached my 30’s I was running out of steam and was forced to learn stillness, because I was exhausted.
I took a whole year in retreat to rest and recover, and to re-evaluate how to pace myself. Big picture thinking had me asking how I was going to make it to my 80’s.
I learned to block off my time for work, play, rest and recovery, cleaning, food prep, eating of the food that I prepared, and chill time to do nothing. All of which are super important to live a balanced life. I am not perfect and I am definitely still working on finding balance. Suggestions if you are dealing with chronic fatigue is to start with and end your workouts with meditation.
For every minute you spend in motion spend a minute in meditation.
If you are not sure how, and you’re already saying “I don’t know how to meditate”, I suggest starting with the guided meditations on the Warm Up website to ground and tone your nervous system.
Click the link to subscribe to the Warm Up streaming service: https://warmupworkout.fit/
Thanks for reading. My name is Hawa reminding you to love yourself daily and Warm Up daily.