Remembering to ‘unplug’ now and then to ‘reboot’

Sylvan Lake fitness trainer says physical fitness allows your mind to clear

A lesson from your computer.

I heard something the other day that both made me laugh, and stopped me cold at how profound it was. So of course I made a note of it to share with you.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a little bit. Even you.”


That really struck me deeply. I mean, yes, it definitely works with computers and phones and things. I was raised in the 80’s when computers were just coming into their own (I used to spend whole weekends writing code), so maybe I can explain why turning a computer off and on again makes it work better.

It goes something like this: as a computer or phone works away, and we open and close programs, start things, stop things, etc. there is an accumulation of errors.

Our phones and computers are a collection of many, many smaller programs and systems. They don’t always work well together and over time, errors accumulate in the temporary memory system (RAM).

By rebooting the device, you force it to dump all of the errors and start over from the master list of ‘how to do things’ (ROM).

That’s why they work well and run faster again. It’s like re-reading the operations manual, free of any exceptions.

This applies to our brains as well.

Last week, I was at another conference, and for me, it was like another ‘reboot’ or chance to ‘unplug’ and restart. Being at a conference for four days and sitting in a large room from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. while speaker after speaker present their own take on things is far from relaxing, but it is a powerful reboot!

By removing myself from my business and all of its moving parts, I am able to unplug and come at life fresh. New ideas start to flow, new thoughts and plans and dreams take hold and before I know it, I am in full-blown creation mode again.

This also works by simply going to the gym or to a class like bootcamp or yoga or participating in sports with a team you are on.

It is a chance to let your brain stop thinking about work, family, taxes, cleaning, maintenance etc. and just totally be in another frame of mind.

This lets your mind ‘reboot’ as you focus on what is happening right now – in the moment. You focus 100% on lifting the weight or performing the movement correctly or whatever and all of that other stuff has to just turn off for a while.

After a physical workout, not only does your brain have more oxygen and fuel, but it has had a chance to rest and you are literally, (scientifically provably) smarter.

Now you can jump back into your world of challenges with more energy and therefore have greater success!

I work too much I am told, and as much as I understand that, I also love what I do and want to always be better at it. This leads of course, to the bigger form of unplugging (beyond a 30- to 60-minute workout): a vacation.

A week is great, two is better, but even just a weekend off can be a huge reboot for your life.

And if you can find a place where phones do not work, even better! If you are like me, you can only push so hard for so long before that reboot is required.

The thing for me to do is to recognize it before my hard drive starts generating more errors than good stuff and I ‘crash’.

Currently I feel that coming on, so thank goodness Easter is coming up soon!

Hey, I am a big fan of hard work and lots of it, but we all need to remember to unplug a little each day with some exercise, meditation, yoga or just a walk after dinner.

That takes care of daily things, and then we can find a way to unplug once in a while for a few days, and as often as possible for your reality, for a week or so.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.

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