• Joy Bowen

Listen to your body

Listen to your body. You probably hear people say this all the time, but do you really know what it means? Andrew here on the blog this week. I wanted to talk to you all about this subject because it’s something I had to learn the hard way. I want all of you to learn from my mistakes. People only think of listening to their bodies in terms of taking it easy when they work out, but it can go both ways. Have you ever been sitting on the couch and your body is just screaming at you to get up and move? Or maybe it’s not even a scream, maybe it’s a little whisper. Either way, listen to your body when it’s telling you it needs something. My story is actually the other side of the coin though. It’s one of those stories where your body is telling you to stop doing something. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a black belt in American Karate. I got my black belt about 5 ½ years ago. During my black belt test, I discovered that I had a heart condition that I had no idea about. Essentially, my heart goes from beating at a normal pace to a completely high number very quickly. It goes from like 190 to 300 beats per minute, and then once it goes up, it stays really, really high. What happens when your heart is beating that fast for that long, is your lungs never get a chance to catch up and oxygenate your blood. So during my black belt test, I essentially suffocated myself. Before I ever knew any of this was going on, I’d look down at my heart rate monitor and it would say 260 or 270, and I didn’t feel bad, so I’d adjust my monitor and move on. I always thought it was an issue with the heart rate monitor and not an issue with my heart. Now I know that the heart rate monitors were right all along and I should have been listening. It wasn’t until the black belt test when I had no option but to pay attention that we realized how serious the issue really was. Fast forward to present day. I’m in my hotel room doing our new program called 80 day obsession, and all of a sudden I start to realize that my heart rate is up there. I look down at my monitor and it’s 195. Now, that’s high, but it’s nothing like I’d been dealing with in the past. However, I don’t like pushing myself past 190 regularly simply because of the history that I’ve had. I made myself stop. I completely stopped what I was doing, and sat down until my heart rate came down. It came down right away, so there’s nothing to be worried about, but it was a moment where I really had to pay attention and listen to my body. We all get clues. We all have signs. Pay attention to those signs and I believe your body will tell you what it needs. Whether that’s getting up and getting moving, or stopping everything to let your body have a rest, listen. Have a great day! Andrew

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