I have a habit in our house where, instead of yelling STOP! when our little guys are doing something that could be dangerous, I yell PAUSE! I’m not really sure when it started, but some reason, the word stop seems to flow every-so-gently in one ear and out the other (anyone relate?!) 🙂 but the word pause actually causes them to cease their movement or action. It forces them to take a moment, assess their surroundings (danger: a car is coming!), be present to what is really going on around them, and act accordingly.

“Practicing the pause” has so many implications when it comes to LIFE, particularly a life of good health and fitness.

Pausing during lifting movements allows you to do a mental check to see if your body position and lifting mechanics are optimal. As such, pausing is a great learning tool to master technique. We’ll often prescribe a tempo where there is a slight 2-second or more pause at the bottom, top, or middle of the lift. Used strategically like this, a pause forces you to use more muscle activity, strengthens any weak links in your movement, and reassess your positioning so you’re kept safe and strong.
Our nutrition program emphases the importance of pausing during eating. Eating slooooowly, setting your fork down between bites, taking a moment to (really) taste, to get a feel for what you’re actually sensing. Someone shared with me once that to distinguish true hunger from habit or craving, ask yourself if you would choose to eat an apple (or other health food) right now. If the answer is “no – I just want this junk food item”, you’re probably experiencing a desire to eat not based on your body’s physical hunger cues and it’s time to reassess what and why. While cravings have deep roots and causes that should be acknowledged, it’s helpful to pause, notice, and name what we’re feeling. Doing so can help us understand the choices we make, take a moment, and, if need be, choose a different path.
Isn’t this quote great? How would our conversations be more empathetic, our homes be more peaceful, and our selves better cared for if we paused before talking/acting/worrying? Take a moment to pause today and redirect your thoughts and actions to one that is less reactionary, more intentional.
How might you practice the pause this week in your fitness and wellness? We’d love to know! Mention us on social media (@valeotraining if on Facebook / @valeotraining_hollandmi if on Instagram) and hashtag it #valeotraining #practicethepause. Free stuff is always fun, so for every mention this week, we’ll enter you in a drawing to win a Valeo shaker bottle!
Cheers to being present, to being aware, to taking a moment. 

Jess + Team Valeo

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