Is your drive to keep up with your daily exercise routines waning? Or do you find yourself being swarmed with so many anxious and worrisome thoughts while exercising? If so, then a mental training in the form of mindfulness can help you.
Research on Meditation and Workout
Various reasons have been offered as to why some people are able to stick with exercises and others cannot. These range from genetics and personal traits to realities of life such as tight schedules. In several studies on exercise behaviour, it has been suggested that people who find exercise satisfying are more likely to continue the activity.
However, the reason why exercise is satisfying was not explained. So, in a new study by researchers in the Netherlands published in The Journal of Health Psychology, the role of mindfulness in physical activity, such as exercise, was investigated. It found that mindfulness played a major role in making exercise feel satisfying as participants who reported practicing mindfulness during exercises also reported fulfilment in exercises.
How to Become Mindful During Exercises
Being mindful is about being more conscious of your mind and body in the moment. Being present while exercising and looking at all angles that make up the experience may increase your satisfaction in exercising. This means acknowledging and accepting all experiences the physical activity has to offer, including muscle aches, hunger and thirst, waning pace and more. How can you integrate mindfulness into your workout?
Feel your body. Be careful in exercising with all you’ve got. Feel what’s happening inside your body by slowing down. If you keep ignoring the aches your body is telling, it sets a disconnection in your body that could lead to harm or injury to yourself. Working out should not only be an all out-of-body experience; make it also an in-body experience.
Be aware of your environment. This means bringing the awareness inside your mind and into the space you’re moving through. Take notice of the smell, temperature, lights and other things around you that could affect your experience. Bring the necessary tools such as water and a towel to allow you to enhance your awareness of the activity you are about to undertake.
Pay attention to your breathing. The breath is the foundation of a mindful practice. The inhale/exhale process sets a rhythm that can help you connect to the present moment. It also links your mind, body and soul. The deeper the breath, the deeper the link becomes.
Find the exercise that fits you. Working out is not only done in the gym anymore. There are many activities that help promote a mind-body balance. You can choose from a variety of exercise programs, including walking, martial arts, running, yoga, and more.
Exercise and meditation seem poles apart; one is physical and the other is mental. But you can unify awareness and physical activity into one. When you accomplish this, you experience the present while you exercise.