In the insular focus on staying active and looking amazing, many of us tend to forget the mental element of physical exercise. However, there are a number of effective workouts that remind us of the challenge to our brain while pushing our bodies. These are some favourite exercises in physical and emotional catharsis.
Kickboxing, martial arts and Muay Thai. The ultimate ways to physically sublimate aggression, anger and frustration, while building physical strength, agility and discipline. You work up a sweat, leave your rage on the mat and then walk away. Physical and emotional therapy all in one.
Skating. You put on your skates and stand up to find your balance; you move forward and if you're really agile, you skate backwards; when you're starting out and even sometimes when you're pretty seasoned, you fall down. But you dust yourself, stand up and recalibrate then move forward. I'm thinking no further explanation is needed.
Swimming and diving. One of the most effective low-impact workouts you can ever get, not just low-impact on the joints but on the psyche as well. Something about the water offers a symbolic rebirth of sorts, entering the water as your old self, pushing the past away with every stroke and kick and emerging from the water with a new resolve. Turning over a new leaf never made you look or feel so good.
Rock climbing. While offering an amazing full body workout that especially trains your core and upper body, there is an emotional release felt rappelling up and down a climbing wall - sometimes it gets too hard and the next move ahead isn't as clear, sometimes you have to take a step back to revise your plan to go further and sometimes you lose your grip and fall, ending up back at square one, back to the bottom of the wall. But you think it through, try again and again until to you make it to the top - then you free fall from the wall, find a tougher path and overcome that one, too. How's that for catharsis!
This was originally posted on 9 February, 2016.
What are some of your favourite physical and mental exercises?
I'd love to hear some of yours!