Exercise Your Mind When You Can’t Exercise Your Body

You’re injured, you’re sick, you’re exhausted, you’re stuck on your own. Does this mean that practicing the art you are passionate about is out for today? Not necessarily. There are many ways to explore a physical skill without twitching a muscle… well, perhaps a little muscle twitching.

Read

Reading a book on swordplay can expand your theoretical knowledge, challenge your strategic skill set, and inspire you for your next physical training session. So much of martial arts is in your head, so why not exercise your brain directly? There is much media beyond books, as well—resources such as videos and blogs.

Write

Especially if you’re following the advice to “read”. Knowledge is processed much more thoroughly when you reflect on it and then produce your own creative work based on that reflection. Write your own notes based on what you are learning, create a list of strengths and weaknesses you want to build on and improve respectively, or share your thoughts with an instructor or peers who will help you clarify your thinking or expand your knowledge.

Converse

Engaging in a thoughtful dialogue about strategy, tactics, interpretation, or even mechanics, can be a valuable mental exercise. Speak with a mentor who can challenge your thinking, or a less experienced friend, who can help you explore the fullness of what you know and don’t know by asking insightful questions.

Visualize

Building your mind is excellent and necessary, however you do not want to avoid physical practice for too prolonged a period. If that appears to be unavoidable, don’t overlook the power of visualizing for not only training your mind but your body as well. A good visualization routine requires discipline and should follow a similar pattern to your physical training session: imagine doing a certain number of reps of an exercise, use a timer as you might in physical practice, or follow a certain number of reps. Vary exercises at a frequency that helps you stay focused and train in a quiet place with no outside interruptions.
Hopefully these tips can help you stay on top of your training regimen even when you’re battling a winter cold or rehab process. Enjoy!
Devon

Subscribe for Training Articles, Lessons and Videos

Yes, they're free! Enter your name and email address to receive our emails packed full of great martial arts training articles, video lessons, drills, practice advice, new offerings, and much more.

Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related Articles

Ways to Train When You’re Sick or Injured

Training is at least 50% mental and 50% physical. If you’re truly down-and-out sick, then just let yourself be sick. No sense resisting the sleep you need and prolonging the pain. But if you’re just out with the sniffles, or you have an injury that prevents you from physically training, then here are some things you can do to keep your rhythm going and train the mental side.

How to Keep a Training Journal

For many years I have kept a training journal. This is a log book of personal practice goals, training plans, progress toward those goals, and a ticker tape of general thoughts, comments, struggles, and successes. At its simplest the journal is a way of keeping my training front-of-mind and it helps me keep continuity from session to session.

Responses

Training Articles,
Lessons and Videos

Yes, they're free! Enter your name and email address to receive our emails packed full of great martial arts training articles, video lessons, drills, practice advice, new offerings, and much more.