GET YOUR MIND INTO THE MAT­TER

Natural Solutions - - Healthmatters Fitness -

You’ve al­ready heard that the mind-body con­nec­tion is su­per valu­able—but what if your lack of fo­cus is ac­tu­ally sab­o­tag­ing your work­out? Fit­ness be­hav­ior ex­pert Dan Nguyen tells us how to fix our fit­ness rou­tines when go­ing through the mo­tions just isn’t cut­ting it.

FO­CUS ON YOUR IN­TEN­TION. As soon as you en­ter your work­out space— whether it’s the gym, the park, or your own backyard—de­cide what you’re do­ing for the day, and stick to it. Maybe you want to com­plete a heavy set of squats, run three miles, or try a new plank cir­cuit. What­ever your goal, keep it in the fore­front of your mind.

VI­SU­AL­IZE YOUR AC­TIONS. Watch your body go through the ex­er­cises, and pic­ture what you want to ac­com­plish—fat burn­ing on the el­lip­ti­cal, mus­cle ton­ing as you lift free weights, etc. Don’t zone out with a TV show or a book.

AN­CHOR YOUR FO­CUS. Mu­sic is a great way to get in the work­out zone. Make a few go-to playlists that in­clude up­beat mu­sic—these beats will act as a trig­ger for you to en­ter the fit­ness-fo­cused state.

EM­BODY THE EN­ERGY OF YOUR GOALS. Pic­ture the booty you want—or the abs, or arms—and imag­ine what it feels like to reach that goal. Float into your men­tal pic­ture and en­gage your senses. What does it sound like? Are fam­ily and friends giv­ing you com­pli­ments? How will you stand or breathe dif­fer­ently? quick tip

\ Pay at­ten­tion to your arms when walk­ing or, es­pe­cially, run­ning. They should be slightly bent, hang nat­u­rally, and swing straight. Avoid cross­ing op­po­site arms over your body or twist­ing your shoul­ders—this cre­ates ad­di­tional mus­cle and joint strain, es­pe­cially at points where your sports bra straps sit. As we gear up for warmer weather, many of us will dig out shorts, skirts, and other leg-bar­ing ap­parel. Get your limbs ready with these life­style tips.

Move more. Tone up by look­ing for ex­cuses to get out and do things, whether that’s walk­ing to the cor­ner store in­stead of driv­ing, gar­den­ing (which in­volves lift­ing and squat­ting), or a fun and ac­tive hobby like hik­ing or disc golf­ing.

Ex­fo­li­ate and shave. Use a nat­u­ral scrub to clear dead skin be­fore you shave, then ap­ply a nat­u­ral shave gel that will hy­drate your legs even af­ter your ra­zor’s work is done. We like JustNeem Body Pol­ish ( justneem.com), Clair­voy­ant Beauty Cof­fee But­ter Body Scrub (clair­voy­ant beauty.com), Aubrey Crème de la Shave (aubrey-or­gan­ics.com), and Surya Brasil Sapien Women Shave Gel (shop­surya brasil.com).

Treat bruises. Soak a cot­ton ball in pure laven­der es­sen­tial oil, then place it on your black-and-blues for a cou­ple of hours to help the color fade.

Mois­tur­ize daily. It’s im­por­tant to lotion legs even on days you may not show skin to pre­vent them from get­ting dry. Plus, mois­tur­iz­ing daily may even help to soften hair growth. Check out the next page for some of our fa­vorite picks.

THE PER­CENT­AGE OF YOUR BODY WEIGHT MADE UP OF MUS­CLE TIS­SUE— SO DON’T JUMP TO CON­CLU­SIONS IF YOU FEEL FIT BUT THE NUM­BER ON THE

SCALE GOES UP.

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