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The Yin And Yang Of Fitness

Fitness has come a long way since gyms and sports culture was popularised in the digital age, with many people taking on different kinds of activity to keep on top of their health and wellbeing.

The world of fitness is slowly changing, however, with  trainers encouraging the idea of working smarter and not harder. 

Here, Dave Nelson from Flow St8 explains how the way we train has evolved: 

“Modern society has us living an unbalanced and unhealthy “yang” lifestyle, and the odds are your fitness routine has the  same problems!

We all know the Chinese symbol of yin and yang (the black and white circle separated by an S shape)  which really symbolises unity of the two forces.

Most typically yin forces are feminine, nurturing, calm, cool, relaxed and  creative. Whereas yang is very masculine, dominant, more forceful, hot, fast paced and logical. Neither is good nor bad, but it’s the harmony and integration of both that creates balance and often the sweet spot of performance and  happiness. 

“Now let’s look at modern living, most of us have a day that filed with unavoidable stress, social media notifications, information overload, anxiety, traffic, coffee, rushing around, long to do lists and most of our diets that are filled with convenient food like substances are all considered yang.

Most of our problems we face today from obesity through to  anxiety, depression and virtually all illness, comes from our heavy yang lifestyle!

The heavy yang lifestyles leaves us in a  constant sympathetic nervous system state (our fight or flight mode) leading to adrenal exhaustion, high cortisol levels and  unmanageable amounts of inflammation.

Unfortunately, the yin principles are the things we know we need to do, but they are also the things that get pushed out by the busyness of our lives, with things like meditation, yoga, stretching, time in quiet or isolation, time in nature and so on. How often do you hear the busy entrepreneur say “I don’t have time to  meditate”? You can only burn the candle for so long. And remember flow is the new hustle!” 

Dave adds “Now our workouts have much the same problem as our lives. With the current craze around HITT classes or  bootcamps at the newest, fanciest studio or even on demand, these high impact workouts are too out of balance and set us up for fatigue later in the day, often with feelings of being agitated, unable to rest and we find ourselves constantly sore  and injured.

High levels of the stress hormone cortisol, when sustained, is linked to increased belly fat, diabetes and high  blood pressure.

So if you head to work out from an already stressed morning with school drop off, your early morning spin or your high intensity cardio workout before rushing to work could take those raised cortisol levels even higher.” 

“Adopting the balance of yin and yang doesn’t mean we cut these high impact, muscle building workouts all together, it  means we just integrate balance, ensuring your workouts include an even balance of yin (breath work, meditation stretching, mobility, yoga, plates) with the yang (weight lifting, HIT classes, spin, running etc).” 

“And if you look at elite athletes who we are seeing extending their prime into their late 30’s and beyond (the likes of Serena Williams, Kelly Slater, Tom Brady, Lebron James) they heavily follow this philosophy and spend much of their week in yin practice” he says “If you pay attention, you’ll now see athletes doing breathe work techniques pre game over listening  to head banging rap or heavy metal, you’ll see athletes doing light stability work on a bosu ball over endless deadlifts and bicep curls and you see athletes being taught Zen mindfulness philosophy.

The secret to peak performance and longevity  is working smarter, not harder!” 

Flow St8 is the revolutionary way to work out – combing the power of science and spirituality to  transform your mind as well as your body. 

Going above the current workout regimes focusing on body improvements and aesthetic tuning, 

Flow St8 strives to improve everything from your regulating your moods and emotions to gaining  consciousness so that you can live better. 

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