Thanks to Campus Rec, hundreds of UNC students come together to form teams and compete in Intramural Sports every semester. Students join teams with their friends, or form teams with fellow students that they’ve never even met before. They compete with other teams for fun and exercise, but also for a chance to win the coveted championship tee shirts. The great thing about IM sports is that no one has to be a pro to play; with sports ranging from soccer to inner tube water basketball, IMs are a great opportunity to try something new and develop your skills as you go!
This week, I had the chance to interview Savannah Putnam, a first year student who is already actively involved in playing various IM sports. Savannah and I went to the same high school, where I knew she was heavily involved in athletics, so I decided to ask her a few questions about her experience playing IM sports during here first year here at UNC.
Q: What IM sports have you played?
A: So far, I’ve participated in intramural Flag Football, Outdoor Soccer, and Basketball.
Q: I heard that you started your own IM flag football team last semester. How did you go about starting that and who were your teammates?
A: I went about starting my Flag football team by getting together my suite mates and hall mates in Craige! It was a really good way to get to know each other and a fantastic start to the year!
Q: Did you make any lasting friendships or great memories with the people in your flag football team? If so, tell me a little about them!
A: It just so happens that the people on my Flag football team have become some of my best friends! The team really created a since of camaraderie between the group! We have participated in sports as a team throughout the year!
Q: What motivated you to start playing IM sports?
A: I am naturally competitive, along with the people around me. It is a great way to stay and shape and have fun!
Q: Would you recommend IM sports to other students, and why?
A: I would absolutely recommend IM sports to other students because it is a good way to get involved. There is a network of people created by playing. It is also a good stress break from all of the never-ending schoolwork. Going to play your favorite sports with your best friends never becomes boring!
Q: How did you get along with teammates that you’d never met before?
A: Luckily, for my team, we all knew each other. Our relationships on the field developed into deeper and more personal off the field relationships. That was the major difference for our team. Going to Rams after the game, or even just hanging out in each other’s room was what solidified us as a friend group.
Q: What was the highlight of all of your flag football games for you?
A: The highlight of my freshman flag football career was definitely winning the championship. But also, the highlights came when the unexpected plays happened. We had a few players on our team who had never played flag football before. When those players made big plays, everyone’s excitement skyrocketed. Also, some of the players on our team have amazing athletic ability. It was incredible to watch them compete. The unforgettable moments come from the people around you, not from the game itself.
Q: What other intramural sports do you plan to take on next during your time at UNC? How many championship tee shirts do you plan to have by the time you graduate?
A: My plan is to take them all by storm. I am currently playing on two IM basketball teams. Futsal is brand new and I would love to give it a try. Like I said, I’m a very competitive person and love playing any sport I possibly can. While, I may not always win, it is about having fun, right? I plan to capture as many IM championship t-shirts as possible. But the ultimate goal isn’t to win, it is to bring people together over the love of sports.
I appreciate Savannah taking the time to answer my questions, and we at Campus Rec wish her the best in her plans to take IM sports by storm during her four years here! I have no doubts that she’ll have a collection of championship tee shirts by the time she graduates. If you’ve never tried IM sports, gather up some friends, classmates, or random passersby this semester and give it a try! You’re sure to have fun, make or strengthen friendships, and add some Tar Heel memories to your collection!
Happy Beat D00k Week! Go Heels!
Campus Recreation just launched a brand new website, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. So excited, in fact, that we decided to just move our blog right on over to that site. What does that mean for you, our readers? Not a whole lot! Now we just ask that you move right on over with us. New blogs will no longer be posted here, but will, instead, be posted at http://www.campusrec.unc.edu/blog. We look forward to seeing you there!
How many calories do I need?
Should I be eating more protein?
The answer: It depends. And there’s a lot of misunderstanding about nutrition.
For many people, the nutrition facts found on the back of food packages are confusing. Because they are meant for the general population, they often fail to produce helpful information for individuals who each have unique dietary needs. For example, nutrition facts are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, but not everyone needs a 2,000 calorie diet. What you need to eat to stay healthy might be different than someone else. Your individual needs are based on your gender, age, size, physical activity level, and many other factors.
You may be thinking that structuring your diet based on all of these factors sounds complicated. Luckily, there’s good news! According to Antonia “Toni” Hartley, a registered dietitian at UNC Campus Health Services, most students only need to follow one simple rule to eat healthy: MyPlate.
What is MyPlate exactly? It’s an easy nutrition guide. It shows what your plate should look like with the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. You may notice that it’s similar to the Food Pyramid that was once previously used.
Focus on filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, with the other half equally with grains and protein. “If you follow the MyPlate recommendations, you’re likely to a balanced meal that meets your nutrition requirements,” explains Toni Hartley.
Also, using the nutrition facts to count your calories is rather difficult for most people, and not all foods have easily assessable nutrition information. Unless you have a special dietary and medical needs, many experts will advise people to not use it.
And surprisingly, some of the information presented in nutrition facts may be incorrect! The labels are allowed to be 20% off. This means the 100-calorie snack pack you’re eating may be closer to 120 calories.
Using MyPlate is much easier than counting calories, and is more likely to lead to a balanced diet.
If you are interested in receiving more information about nutrition, make an appointment with Nutrition Services at Campus Health Services.
Justin Chu is the Information and Communication Program Assistant at UNC Student Wellness and a Master of Public Health graduate student with a focus in Health Behavior at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He previously worked as a nutritionist in the clinical, community, and commercial settings after earning his bachelor’s in Clinical Nutrition at the University of California at Davis.
Last week, after returning to the SRC from a solid month of no gym access that caused me to rely on bodyweight exercises and a treadmill, I had the brilliant idea to hop straight back into my favorite group fitness class: lower body conditioning. This class is always a challenging one, but there were nearly 100 people there this time and it was fairly obvious that we were all struggling after the break. After 45 minutes of so many squats and lunges that I quickly lost count, my legs felt like two overcooked noodles as I picked up my backpack and wobbled down the stairs.
Within twenty minutes, I had cooled down and my legs were feeling almost back to normal. By the next morning, my leg muscles were felt tight and slightly sore, but I made it through the day without noticing the soreness too much. By the second morning, I could barely walk as I waddled and cringed my way across the house getting ready for class. Let me just say that you never really notice the subtle inclines and all of the many staircases on campus very much until every step reminds you of every single squat and lunge you did two days earlier.
So why were my legs so extremely sore?
This kind of achy, sore feeling after a workout has an official name: delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. While many mechanisms work together to cause this soreness, they are not all well understood. The best understood cause of muscle soreness is simply that strenuous exercise causes microscopic tears in the muscle, leading to inflammation and soreness as part of the healing process.
The eccentric phase of exercise may be particularly responsible for these tiny tears. This is the phase where the muscles are lengthening, so if you were doing bicep curls with a dumbbell, the action of lowering your had back down to the starting position would be the eccentric phase of the exercise. This phase of the exercises puts more load and strain on your muscles, leading to the micro-tears.
Often, you might hear people say that soreness comes from lactic acid build-up in the muscles. While lactic acid is a by-product of your body’s metabolism during exercise, the lactate is cleared from your system naturally in less than an hour, usually, and is not the cause of your muscle soreness later.
How long does the soreness usually last?
Most people experience peak soreness 24-72 hours after an exercise session when it’s something that they haven’t done in a while, if they are new to exercise, or if they greatly increase the weight load of the exercise compared to what they usually do. The good news is that after one bout of terrible soreness, like the one I experienced last week, you should feel back to normal in 3-5 days and the same workout isn’t likely to make you nearly as sore again if you continue to do it regularly. If you feel sharp pain WHILE you’re exercising or if your soreness doesn’t go away after five days of resting your muscles, you may need to consult a doctor to see if the pain is due to an injury and not just general soreness.
What else should I know about exercise-induced muscle soreness?
- While studies have shown that medicines like Tylenol or ibuprofen may help with the pain, the results aren’t definite and they don’t help your muscles recover or heal more quickly.
- If you’re not sore after a workout, it doesn’t mean that your workout was too easy or that it wasn’t “good enough.” The level of soreness is simply related to your level of muscle adaptation to that particular exercise, as well as your genetics.
- While stretching, warming up and cooling down are still super important for keeping you safe during exercise, they have not been shown to reduce DOMS.
- The micro-tears are not bad for your muscles, they are simply a natural consequence of tough exercise and they heal themselves naturally and strengthen your muscles in the process.
How can I recover more quickly from my DOMS?
Unfortunately, there is no definite way to make your soreness dissipate more quickly. No vitamin, mineral, or herbal supplements have been researched and proven effective for specifically treating DOMS, and you should ask a doctor before taking them. Massaging the muscles by hand or with a foam roll may be your best bet, because even though it is painful at the time, it increases blood flow to the muscles and may help them heal a little more quickly. There is no guarantee of what will work for you because every person’s body is different, but I usually feel a little better after a hot shower and after massaging the sorest spots.
Muscle soreness from exercise is a badge that some wear with pride and others, including myself, just try to minimize and get it to pass as quickly as possible. If you came running to work out with Campus Rec last week during “Spring Into Fitness,” and you were left as sore as I was, don’t be scared away! The worst has passed and your muscles are better prepared for your next workout, so come back to work out with Campus Rec during this chilly four-day week and be proud of the hard work your soreness represents!
Why are Your Muscles Sore After a Workout? 22 July, 2015. Greatist. http://greatist.com/fitness/why-are-our-muscles-sore-after-workout
Yu, Christine. No Pain, No Gain? 5 Myths About Muscle Soreness. 17 July, 2014. Daily Burn. http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/doms-muscle-soreness/
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first week of classes! By now you’re probably starting to get yourself settled into a new semester routine! I know that I always appreciate consistency in my busy weekly routine each semester. I tend to eat lunch at the same time, in the same place every Tuesday or eat dinner with the same people every Thursday. It makes my weeks feel like they flow more smoothly and by being a creature of habit, I at least know that I have time for everything because I’ve mentally scheduled it all in.
I also like to make myself a weekly workout schedule to make sure that I’m working out consistently and taking care of myself! I try out a few group fitness classes during the first couple of weeks of the semester, then pick my favorite classes that work with my schedule, and from there I make myself a personal weekly fitness routine that I can follow, more or less, throughout the entire semester!
Because this semester has just started, I’m still working on figuring out what routine I’ll like this spring. Instead, I’ll share my fitness routine that I really enjoyed last semester with the help of Campus Rec group fitness classes!
Mondays: No convenient time for any group fitness classes. I wrapped up the day with a 30-40 minute workout from dailyburn.com when I got home for the evening. Training Time videos on Campus Rec’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/unccampusrec) are great resources for at home workouts, too!
Tuesday: Alternate weeks between Absolution with Annie from 6:25-6:45 pm or yoga with Emily from 7-8 pm, depending on my schedule
Wednesday: Day off? More like spend all evening on my feet at work, but still, no scheduled exercise.
Thursday: Kick n’ Sculpt with Mia from 12:15-1 pm. I love Mia’s energy, getting my workout in earlier in the day, and trying to convince friends to ditch their other favorite group fitness classes to come jump around at Kick n’ Sculpt with me!
Friday and Saturday: My choice! Let’s be honest: some weeks, Friday afternoon free time was devoted to napping instead of exercise. If the weather was pretty, I liked to go for a walk or jog on a nearby trail. If not, I turned back to my trusty friend, dailyburn.com, and didn’t even have to leave the house!
Sunday: A true day off!
And there you have it! My semester exercise routine was simple, flexible, and I actually enjoyed it because I planned it myself around my class and work schedule. Some weeks, I was busy or just plain tired, so I only picked three days to work out. Other weeks, I was rested, less stressed, and had enough energy to work out on four or five days! I just took it one day at a time, but I liked knowing that I had several good opportunities to be active that I really enjoyed every week!
Whether you’re just beginning to exercise regularly or you’ve been doing it for quite a while now, you can make your own weekly workout routine this semester! Here are my quick tips for getting started:
- Decide what setting you like for exercising. Do you like group fitness, exercising by yourself with cardio equipment and music, the gym, the great outdoors or all of the above? Incorporate your favorites into your routine and remember to account for possible bad weather.
- When do you like to work out? You may like mornings, late at night, afternoons, or just whenever you can make time in your busy schedule!
- Choose how many days you want to try to work out every week!
- If you like group fitness classes, try out several to see which are your favorites, or alternate which class you go to each week if more than one class is offered at the same time.
- Do you prefer to have a friend to work out with you? Coordinate your schedules and meet up on campus!
- Are you a little obsessed with some show on Netflix right now? Bring your phone or iPad with you to the gym and choose the elliptical or stationary bike to exercise while still watching that favorite show.
- Listen to your body! Making a “schedule” or “routine” doesn’t mean that you have to follow it exactly, every single week, no matter how exhausted or sore you are. If you stayed up too late studying the night before or your legs are so sore from yesterday’s workout that you’re waddling around campus, just go ahead and take the day off!
If you’re a beginning exerciser, realize that creating an exercise plan for yourself doesn’t need to be stressful, intimidating, or over-the-top! You don’t have to jump right into lifting weights or exercising for an hour at a time when you’re just getting started! Even if you already exercise regularly, having a routine can make it easier and can keep you from having stagnant weeks.
Campus Rec’s repeating weekly schedule of group fitness classes galore has helped make exercising fun and has helped me to have several active days every single week! Check out the Spring 2016 Schedule (subject to change slightly as everyone settles into the semester) and plan to make this semester active and healthy with Campus Recreation!
We are (probably!) all in need of some fresh air and a study break (like that cat!). North Carolina is FULL of excellent city, county, and state parks with hiking trails and outdoor activities galore (check out this awesome blog with 22 ideas for outdoor adventures), but I wanted to take a minute to give a shout out to three awesome, public transit-accessible parks and outdoor spaces we have right here in Chapel Hill and Carrboro (one is even ON CAMPUS!). Enjoy!
Located just minutes from campus in Carrboro, Wilson Park is a great option for a Sunday picnic or an after-class hike in the woods. The park is home to 8.5 acres full of trails and walking paths, including some trails along Bolin Creek if you’re adventurous and want to hop in the water for a quick dip. Wilson Park also has tennis courts (including 4 that are lit-up at night), a baseball field, playground equipment, and a pavilion and grills to accommodate your picnicking needs.
For more information: http://www.ci.carrboro.nc.us/370/Wilson-Park
Park address: 101 Williams St. in Carrboro
How to get there: If you have access to a car, Wilson park is a short (under 10 minute) drive from campus, and there is plenty of parking available. No car? No problem! You can take the F bus from various spots on campus (e.g. along Franklin Street), ride the bus for about 10 minutes, and get off at the “N. Greensboro Street at Williams Street” stop. From there, you’ll turn down Williams Street and walk 0.1 miles, and the park will be right there! The other option would be to take the J bus from campus, and get off at the “E. Main Street at Jade Palace” stop, take a right on N. Greensboro Street, walk 0.8 miles and turn onto Williams Street, where the park is.
Need some more water in your life? University Lake (also located in Carrboro) may be just what you’re looking for. From September through early November, the lake is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Boat rentals (canoes and kayaks) are available at University Lake, and there are picnic areas as well so you can be sure to get plenty of fuel before your boat ride.
For more information:http://www.carrboro.com/universitylake.html
Address: 130 University Lake Road in Chapel Hill
How to get there: Hop on the CM bus from various spots on campus, and ride for about 15 minutes, exiting at the “Old Fayatteville Road at Poplar Place” stop. Walk towards the big parking lot and take your first right. Walk about 0.4 miles down that road and you will end up at the University Lake office, where you can rent boats! There is also a parking lot for those wanting to drive.
CAROLINA OUTDOOR EDUCATION CENTER (COEC)
Up for some outdoor games and activities right in your backyard? Check out the 20 wooded acres (on campus!) at the COEC, which is home to an 18-hole disc golf course, three sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, picnic areas, a ropes course and more! Additionally, the COEC sponsors a ton of great outdoor opportunities like backpacking trips, day hikes, rock climbing excursions, and kayaking adventures.
For more information: http://campusrec.unc.edu/carolina-outdoor-education-center
Address: 410A Country Club Road in Chapel Hill (right on campus!!)
How to get there: COEC is about a ten minute walk from the Student Union – check out these walking directions starting in front of Fetzer Gym. There are also some parking spots available AFTER 5:30pm.
Wellness Wednesday blog posts are written by Student Wellness or Campus Health Services staff members. Visit healthyheels.org for the original post.
For many, the beginning of a new year or semester is a great opportunity to set new fitness goals! Some of you may be looking to start working out regularly, and others may be more experienced exercisers looking for a new challenge!
If you love exercising and do it regularly, it might be time to add something new to spice up your routine! This is why the Fitness program at Campus Recreation is thrilled to introduce the new Tar Heel Training Center! The NEW Tar Heel Training Center (THTC), located in Fetzer Hall Racquetball Ct. #6, offers a low-cost facility for experienced exercisers to practice barbell lifts and use specialty equipment. If you’re interested in power lifting, Olympic weightlifting, or specialty training including TRX, kettlebells, and sandbags, this is the place for you!
Representatives of the Campus Rec Fitness program had this to say about the opening of the Tar Heel Training Center:
“With the launch of the Tar Heel Training Center, we are hoping to expand current offerings to experienced exercisers and meet the demand for advanced training.
We are especially excited about the option to offer a dedicated space for Olympic Weightlifting. We see this space needed by the Olympic weightlifting community at UNC, something that has been trending both locally and nationally.”
Another great feature of the Tar Heel Training Center is that it features both drop-in hours for experienced go-getters, as well as affordable small group training classes for those wanting to become familiar with proper form, technique, and uses of the various types of equipment. See below for details of drop-in use of the Tar Heel Training Center:
Individuals interested in using the Tar Heel Training Center may purchase a day ($5) or semester ($55) pass in the Campus Recreation Main Office (SRC 101) or online.
The fitness consultant on staff is there to ensure safety and enforce policy. There will be no coaching provided during the drop in hours. If you would like to learn form and technique, please register for one of our small group training classes.
Drop-In Use Schedule:
Mondays & Wednesdays: 6:30-8:30pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays: 11:30am-1:30pm
* Barbells & plates
* Sandbags – up to 40 lbs
* Kettlebells – up to 40 lbs
* Dynamax Balls – 6, 8, 10, 12, 14
* Battle Ropes
* Agility Ladders
Stop by the Tar Heel Training Center during our “Spring Into Fitness” event, going on all week! On Wednesday and Thursday, you can get a tour of the Tar Heel Training Center from 4-7pm. You can also sample a small group training class in the Tar Heel Training Center, located in Fetzer Racquetball Court 6, at the following times:
- TRX-Bootcamp, 5:30-6:00 pm
- Olympic Weightlifting, 6:15-6:45 pm
- Tar Heel XFIT, 5:30-6:00 pm
- Women on Weights, 6:15-6:45 pm
Add some excitement and a new challenge to your workout routine this semester with the Tar Heel Training Center! If you’re new to working out with Campus Rec and want to start with the basics this semester, check back in on Friday for my article about establishing a simple semester fitness routine!
Ready or not, here comes another spring semester Tar Heels! Whether it’s your second semester or your very last semester, make it a great one with a fun and active start! Next week, during the first week of the spring semester, the Fitness program at Campus Rec is hosting a variety of opportunities for you to sample all of the different things that the program has to offer!
Spring into Fitness is highlighted by the opening of the new Tar Heel Training Center! The Tar Heel Training Center will feature equipment necessary for powerlifting, Olympic lifts, boot camp style training, etc., giving patrons additional space for specialty training. The center will have regular, drop in hours for patron use and will also be home to many of Campus Rec’s Small Group Training programs.
Small group training allows for more individualized workouts with specialty formats, including:
- Olympic Weightlifting
- Tar Heel XFIT
- Women on Weights
So what fitness opportunities can you sample during Spring into Fitness? Here is an overview of what events will be offered!
Wednesday, January 13: Information tables in the SRC Lobby
- Ask a Trainer – 4:00 – 7:00PM
- Tour the NEW Tar Heel Training Center – 4:00 – 7:00PM
- Chobani Greek Yogurt Tasting with Carolina Dining Services – 4:00 – 6:00PM
Thursday, January 14, 4:00-7:00pm: Fitness Services Expo in the Functional Movement and Fitness Center and Tar Heel Training Center
- Drop-in services: functional movement screening, body composition, blood pressure, target heart rate zone, flexibility screening, muscle tension release and MORE!!
- Tour the Tar Heel Training Center where we hold Small Group Training!
ALL week, various times:
- Check out our Group Fitness classes such as Zumba, Cycle, and Yoga
- Sample our Small Group Training classes including TRX – Boot Camp, Olympic Weightlifting, Women on Weights, and Tar Heel XFIT!
- Click HERE for the schedule of specific days and times
Spring into Fitness is an excellent opportunity for you to jump back into campus life and an active lifestyle after a long winter break. I know I need to break out of my hibernation habits and get back to being active and eating well! If you’ve only been taking advantage of one aspect of Campus Rec, whether that’s Intramural Sports, Sport Clubs, the weight room, or group fitness classes, I encourage you to branch out and try another of the many opportunities that Campus Rec has to offer! The Campus Recreation Fitness program is dedicated to helping students live fit and active lifestyles, so grab a friend and make your way to the SRC next week to start your year off right and Spring into Fitness!
Club Field Hockey, featured on Tuesday, isn’t the only UNC Sport Club to bring home a National Championship title this semester! I also had the chance to interview Eric Rossitch, UNC Men’s Club Soccer Co-President, about the road to claiming their first national title!
The bracket-play began with Carolina taking down Michigan and Central Florida to advance to the Final Four. They then defeated Illinois to proceed to the championship game. Just like Club Field Hockey, Men’s Club Soccer gained their victory by defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions 2-0, and they proudly came home to UNC with their first National Championship in tow!
I greatly appreciate Eric taking the time to answer my questions and share the details of their journey to the Championship!
Q: What did it feel like to win the Championship, and what kind of work did it take this year to reach that point?
A: We set two main goals at the beginning of the season: to become a family and to qualify for the national tournament in Phoenix, Arizona. Through countless hours of practice, games/tournaments every weekend, and numerous team bonding activities, we meshed as a squad and improved as a team as the season went on. To accomplish both of our goals and win the national title on top of it all is a very rewarding and incredible experience. It all still feels surreal.
Q: Why do you love your sport and your club?
A: Soccer has always been a huge part of my life, and it’s hard to express in words what club soccer has meant to me in my college career. Since the beginning of my freshman year, this team has always made me feel at home and welcomed in the Carolina community. I have met my closest friends and developed long-lasting relationships; it is truly my family.
Q: What was the greatest moment or memory of the season and the road to winning the championship?
After experiencing our first loss of the season in the quarterfinals of the regional tournament in penalty kicks, we were unsure at that point if we would receive an at-large bid to nationals. We circled up after the game heads down, but a few heartfelt speeches led by our sophomore goalkeeper, Murat Calikoglu, really showed how meaningful this squad is to each and every one of us and highlighted the amazing journey we had taken this year. This is when we knew that our goal to become a family and be as close as possible had been a success. It may sound cliché, but our determination to avenge our regional loss along with our genuine love for each other fueled our national title run.
Q: What details do you want readers to know about your championship game?
A: The most incredible part of the championship match for us was the countless number of fans composed of family, friends, and other teams that were there to spectate. Playing in that atmosphere on a pristine field on a beautiful night in Arizona was the absolute perfect way to end the season, and for us seniors, our careers. After the final whistle blew, we circled up with the UNC women’s club team who was also there to cheer us on and sang the alma mater. This is a moment we will never forget, representing this incredible university on the national stage and bringing a national championship back home to Chapel Hill.
The team also had 5 players make the All-Tournament Team:
Brett Griffith (Senior)
Eric Rossitch (Senior)
Alex Requarth (Sophomore)
Murat Calikoglu – Most Outstanding Goalkeeper (Sophomore)
Pearce Veazey – Tournament MVP (Sophomore)
We are so incredibly thrilled for the Men’s Club Soccer team! Their cohesion as a team and the eloquence with which they shared the details of the experience with us make us wish we had been there to witness it! As the oldest public university in the nation, we’ve certainly experienced plenty of wins, but as a Tar Heel family, each and every one is still cause for celebrating each other’s accomplishments and passions!
- Improving focus, concentration and precision.
- Enhancing the quality of communications and relationships.
- Increasing the clarity of our thinking and intentions.
- Improving efficiency and safety.
- Improving stress management.
- Decreasing feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Increasing resilience to change.
- Strengthening faith and self-confidence.
- When starting a new activity: Begin your day with two minutes of silence and attention to the breath, or take a few mindful breaths before starting your car, or focus on the breath before starting your exercise routine.
- In the middle of an on-going situation or process: Bringing attention to the breath, or to the sensations arising while washing the dishes, eating a meal, walking the dog, doing a job, etc.
- When you are just waiting, in between the things on the schedule: Gently bringing attention to the breath or the sounds or the sensations or the sights or even the thoughts while at a red light, in a line at the bus stop or grocery store, or waiting for someone else to arrive.
- Expect your mind to wander. This can happen even if you’re trying to be mindful for a few minutes. Be patient with yourself when this happens and gently return awareness to the sensation of your breath.
- Notice any tendency to judge yourself or to be hard on yourself. A judgment is a type of thought. When you notice a judgmental thought go through your mind, refocus your attention on your breath.
- Relaxation often accompanies mindfulness and is an added benefit to practicing mindfulness.
- The more you practice, the more mindful you will become. This means that you will notice more things, including more painful things. Although this can seem like a problem, it is actually progress. Acknowledging painful things is the first step to learning how to cope with them.