I often use the concept of Life Cycle as a tool to motivate myself and consequently my trainees to promote physical exercise. Generally, this concept is a way of thinking of the different components of life and how they each affect the other. It is also a useful and practical tool in order to change the negative conditions. Imagine that your life consists of 5 components, which interact with each other and all of them are relevant to your well-being.
These 5 components are:
· Body: The physical symptoms
· Emotions: How you feel generally and how the physical symptoms make you feel?
· Thoughts: What thoughts do you have?
· Behavior: How the above components make you behave? What kind of habits do you develop? Do you become inactive?
· Lifestyle: How does your condition affect your ability to do things or affect your relationships? Also, how do events in your life impact you?
The Life Cycle concept is represented by the following:
Now, let’s think of a physical symptom, stiffness for example. Let’s suppose that this symptom has been caused after a few hours of sitting position in front of the PC. Along with stiffness may some pains appear. This situation can affect your emotions in a negative way, possibly feeling sad, angry and depressed. These negative emotions can affect the way you think of the types of thoughts you have. ‘I am invalid, ‘Am I likable?’. This in turn can make you act or behave in a particular way, developing bad habits such as overeating, smoking, drinking or staying inactive. These behaviors cause straight consequences to your lifestyle, your relations, and so on.
How to use the tool
Firstly, use this tool to represent the way that every facet of your life can affect every other part, just in the previous example. On the other hand, the Life Cycle offers you multiple opportunities to modify how your condition affects you. Essentially, a physical condition like the aforementioned stiffness or pain, should not control or influence your life. If you feel depressed because of stiffness or a painful back or neck, rather than allowing inactivity to make you worse, get active. Instead of moving to the couch, follow a half-hour core routine or get out to the garden.
Write your experiences and ideas in each circle, recording anything that seems relevant to each category. Use physical activity and motion as a strategy to change how you feel. By changing your body condition, a new kind of energy flows into your system. You decide to make a change. And this change affects every facet of your life.
Recommended types of exercise during quarantine days:
· If you are stiff or feel back or neck pain, try some classes of Pilates, Yoga or stretching
· If you feel depressed or angry, try HIIT workouts or solo running (I recommend it, believe me, it works) or just walking in an isolated place
· Very useful also is to pump your muscles with types of body-weight training such as push-ups or other gymnastic exercises.
We can handle this global situation by getting active. More than ever we need to stay motivated towards a healthy lifestyle. In addition, motivation derives from motion.
Stay Active, Stay in Motion, Stay Motivated.