When was the last time you went a full day without your phone, computer, TV, iPad? Probably can’t remember. Disconnecting from the “system” is something we ALL need to partake in more often. We are constantly “plugged in.” If training balance is integral to success, life balance, from the standpoint of being connected vs disconnected, is just as important. Now that doesn’t mean we have to go full throttle and camp in the woods for a weekend without any line of communication, but if you want to, go for it. By creating consistent time away from the technology we find ourselves slaves too we can allow for continual benefits both physically and mentally. The dyadic relationship between the physical and the psychological needs to have balance to allow both systems to grow and develop. If we negate unplugging, we will hinder our ability to cultivate intent, presence, and performance in the gym when we need it. While it sounds great in principle, let’s dive into some specific examples and their inherent benefits for performance and training:
Getting Unplugged Idea #1 – Sunlight
Get outside in the sun. Soak up some rays and absorb the benefits we all need more of. Get away from blue light and into the sunlight. See one of my last posts for a more detailed look at all the benefits from sun exposure, here.
Getting Unplugged Idea #2 – Space to Think
We all need time to think. The automaticity of our lives is powerful and productive. But, for us to develop and advanced beyond our current states, whether it’s in work, our relationships, the gym, we have to create space and time to allow the mind to get creative and explore; to refine our current modes of thought; to challenge our stances on issues we might wrestle with. We need space away from the noise to allow the conscious mind to run free.
Getting Unplugged Idea #3 – Fresh Air
For anyone who’s visited the mountains or locations of higher elevation from sea level, you know that sensation when the smell of fresh air and pine trees hits your olfactory receptors triggering your emotional centers in the brain releasing nostalgic feelings of joy and happiness. The same can be said for a peaceful beach against the coast in a quiet town. As our world continues to develop, we forget about the value and euphoria of breathing in fresh air. For those of us who are close to locations where that can be experienced, utilize this forgotten tool as often as you can.
Getting Unplugged Idea #4 – Easy Blood Flow
One of the key pieces we always advocate for is easy aerobic work to promote blood flow and recovery. The recovery extends beyond the physical body and includes our mind as well. Getting outside, moving blood, promoting regeneration, creating a space to think, and appreciating all that’s around you. All of these things go hand and hand with easy blood flow as a tool to use to get unplugged.
Getting Unplugged Idea #5 – Peace
This ties into idea number 1 and 2 but aims at a different perspective. While time away from technology and stimulation can help us wind down, breathe, and be creative it can also allow us to cultivate peace. If there is one thing we as a society have move further away from in the last 20 years it would be accumulating peaceful moments on a weekly basis. For those of you who might describe yourself as more “high strung” or “type A personality” I challenge you to block off time during your week to allow peace and no noise. Feed the polarity of your essence and watch yourself develop in ways you didn’t think possible.
Getting Unplugged Idea #6 – Company
Share getting unplugged with others you enjoy spending time with. Use it as an opportunity to spend time uninterrupted. When was the last time you had a deeply engaging conversation or shared an extended period of time with someone? It has become more difficult for our culture to “find” time to do things of this nature because it REQUIRES putting aside things believed to be more valuable and important. I challenge you to start making time to get outside, alone, and also with someone you enjoy talking to and spending time with.
Sunlight: Get outside in the sun.
Space to think: We need space away from the noise to allow the conscious mind to run free.
Fresh air: The smell of fresh air and pine trees hits your olfactory receptors triggering your emotional centers in the brain releasing nostalgic feelings of joy and happiness.
Easy blood flow: Easy aerobic work promotes blood flow and recovery, which extends beyond the physical body and includes our mind as well.
Peace: Block off time during your week to allow peace and no noise.
Company: Share getting unplugged with others you enjoy spending time with and use it as an opportunity to spend time uninterrupted.