(Note: This isn't a career specific post, but I feel very strongly that your health is crucial to a successful career. Think about it: if your body isn't in a healthy state, it's harder to focus on career goals. Also, I am NOT a personal trainer. I share the information below for informational purposes only; it should not be taken as any kind of expert advice. This is merely my insight into living a healthy(ish) lifestyle.)Right off, you should know I'm no over-the-top health nut. I eat my fair share of junk food, and in a great week I'll make it to the gym four times, a good week three times, and an average week two. I also indulge my love of craft beer (especially those pales and IPAs!) and have a few other unhealthy habits i won't mention here... feel free to use your imagination.The key to a healthy life isn't eating salads every meal or exercising 17 times a week. It's about being mindful of what and how much you're eating, and exercising consistently. Finding your health comfort zone is a matter of figuring out what works best for you based on your schedule, commitments, and level of exercise tolerance (i.e., how much you can work out in a given session, based on what muscles you're working, including cardiovascular muscles). Everyone has a different level of exercise tolerance — you just have to find yours!
Which brings me to the main topic of this post. When I'm exercising, I typically avoid listening to music, watching TV, or indulging any other form of distraction. This allows me to focus my attention on the workout at hand. When my focus is undivided, I truly get a sense of what each exercise is doing for my body, and I can concentrate on making sure I'm doing the exercise correctly. Even better, without distractions I often notice variations I can make to get even more out of each exercise. With music or television on, it's harder to achieve that same level of focus.A couple of disclaimers to end this out: 1) I DO listen to music or watch TV while doing cardio, since the real goal of cardio is just to get your heart rate up and keep it there as long as you can. You don't need a tremendous amount of focus to do that and, in fact, distractions can help you zone out and keep going longer. The No Music Rule DOES apply to stretching, though, for the same reasons mentioned above. 2) I'm not big on the mindfulness craze that has swept the nation and don't spend a lot of time (or any, for that matter) in meditation, but I do believe in trying to be mindful in everyday life and especially during exercise. Truly being present during a workout can help you get more out of it and reduce your chance of injury.Thank you for taking the time to read this post — here's to you and your good health!