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Inner Fitness

“Do anything but let it produce joy” - Walt Whitman

This topic was inspired by the lovely article in the New York Times By Tara Parker-Pope. Its a really great discussion on your inner fitness. This is being kind to yourself and taking it easy when your body says it needs to. This is knowing when to push hard or pull back to find the ULTIMATE balance. As a coach, I always preach that taking days easy or off 1-2 times a week is crucial so your body and mental well- being is ready to take on the hard workouts and efforts wen they come. Its easy to get wrapped up in wanting to bury yourself each day and never stop, But recovering and giving yourself ease is just as important as training, if not more. I always like to put recovery in the perspective as training to. Your body need time to restore and build. Without giving it time, you will decline physically and mentally and can have health issues that are created, leaving you feeling down, lethargic, depressed, sick.. and the list goes on. So this is a great talk about finding YOUR inner fitness and listening to YOUR body no matter what others around you are doing.


Inner fitness

Tara Parker-Pope has been writing for the NYT for over 20 years. This week was her last column .

She reflects on her learnings and how inner fitness is critical if not more critical than physical fitness. Let’s dive into it! When she initially started writing the focus was almost exclusively on the physical body: A healthy diet, exercise and screening for disease were regular topics. But over the years, the health lessons that have stayed with her haven’t been about physical change. The biggest improvements in her own health and well-being came from inner fitness.

Inner fitness means focusing your energy on your emotional well-being and mental health rather than berating yourself about your diet, weight or not getting enough exercise.

It can include mindfulness and meditation techniques, a gratitude routine or a variety of other practices. This inside-out approach to health ultimately can lead to changes in your physical well-being, too. Research shows, for instance, that mindfulness can lower blood pressure, improve sleep, lead to better eating habits and reduce chronic pain.

“Inner fitness means developing the mental, emotional and spiritual skills and practices that foster resilience,”

said Tina Lifford, author of “The Little Book of Big Lies: A Journey Into Inner Fitness.”

“I’d like to see the idea of inner fitness become as ubiquitous, well understood and actionable as physical fitness.”

These are some of the most memorable tips for inner fitness that she collected in recent years.


Give yourself a break.

The field of self-compassion has exploded since She first wrote about it in 2011. The concept is simple: Treat yourself as kindly as you would treat a friend who needs support. About 75 percent of people who find it easy to be supportive of others score very low on self-compassion tests and are not very nice to themselves, said Kristin Neff, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and an expert on self-compassion.

If you often berate yourself for perceived failures, like not losing weight or not being a better parent or spouse, try taking a self-compassion break. Start by asking yourself: What do I need right now?

Be generous.

Our bodies and minds benefit in a variety of ways when we help others. Studies show that volunteering, donating money or sharing advice with friends can release the brain’s feel-good chemicals and activate its reward system. Volunteers had lower stress hormones on days when they donated their time.

“One of the best anti-anxiety medications available is generosity,” said Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania,

Pay attention.

Good things happen when we pay attention. We’re more able to manage negative thinking when we take a moment to notice negative thoughts. Watching for small wonders around us when we take an “awe” walk can amplify the mental health benefits of exercise. Identifying your feelings and naming them — something scientists call “affect labeling” — can calm your brain and reduce stress.

Find your calm.

Learning to quiet the mind and soothe anxiety were her greatest benefits. She uses meditation apps often. Tara is a fan of meditation snacks we talked about last year which involves finding mindful moments in everyday activities, like brushing my teeth or savoring a morning cup of coffee.

Give yourself the best hours of the day.

What one- or two-hour period in each day do you feel your best? Your most energetic? Your most productive? Now ask yourself: Who gets those hours? Chances are you’re spending those highly productive hours on work demands, paying bills, sorting through emails or managing the needs of the household.

But now that you’ve identified the time of day when you’re feeling your best, try giving that time to yourself instead, advises Jack Groppel, an executive coach and professor of exercise and sport science at Judson University in Elgin, Ill. Giving yourself your best time each day to focus on your personal goals and values is the ultimate form of self-care.

Make fresh starts.

Katy Milkman, a professor at Wharton and author of the book “How to Change,” has studied the science of new beginnings, which she calls the fresh-start effect. She and her colleagues have found that we’re most inclined to make meaningful changes in our lives around “temporal landmarks” — those points in time that we naturally associate with new beginnings.

New Year’s Day is the most obvious temporal landmark in our lives, but birthdays, the start of spring, the start of the school year or a new job are all temporal landmarks that create psychological opportunities for lasting change.


What inner fitness best practices do you use ? Please share them with us.


Your success with your fitness is important and it's not easy doing it alone. I think this is a great conversation to open your mind to all the opportunities you can give yourself to become your Best self.

If you are wanting to chat about steps you can improve, I offer video chats or phone consultation.

And if you are looking to have training/ ride guidance to find your ULTIMATE inner fitness, I offer a monthly coaching. THis builds a team behind you and I am here to help you become your best...

For more information on where to sign up Click the link below ⬇️

As always,

Be Kind, Do Fearless

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Marianne Mason
Marianne Mason
Apr 04, 2022

Great article and reminder!. Oddly today our power went out & was unable to ride (zwifting w the Canyon Ranch group). Silver lining to what initially felt like a set back. Odd that rest & recovery days are perceived as set backs. When it fact it’s a renewing. Keeping it simple today. Reading & tackling a few projects.

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