Exercise causes eustress, which is a healthy type of stress that your body endures. This is especially true if you are doing vigorous or very intense activities. Because of this, it is always important to allow your body to have the rest that it needs to recover from a workout. Mental resilience and focus is also a critical part of a successful training session. Similar to your body, your mind can become tired. However, researchers have started to look at how training your mind through mindfulness meditation can also help you train your body.
Practicing mindfulness meditation may be a straight-forward way to improve your physical fitness and overall well-being. Studies done on college athletes have shown that the more relaxed the athlete allows themselves to be, the better mood they are in and the more mental resilience they tend to have.
This means that the athletes who tended to their mental health were able to let go of some of the stress they had to endure during athletic training. Mindfulness training proved itself to be more effective than relaxation training in this study.
Even for people not playing sports, research suggests that mindfulness meditation can provide a mental edge that keeps you on track during challenging workouts. For non-athletes who want to remain healthy, being able to move past mental roadblocks to exercise is important, and this can be easier if you practice mindfulness. Yes, some people look forward to their daily exercise, but there are many people out there who dread it. Mindfulness can help those people change their minds.
One study found that people who said they were able to be mindful while they were exercising were able to feel more satisfied with the exercise. This is because mindfulness might be able to increase feelings of satisfaction because people are satisfied when they are having positive experiences during physical activity. In order for these physical experiences to be noticed, people need to be present in the moment by practicing mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness can also encourage people to make healthier choices throughout the day and increase their motivation to exercise. One of the latest trends in group exercise classes is to add several moments of mindfulness so participants can help train their brains and their body at the same time.
So, how do you add mindfulness to your workout? It is simple once you start practicing. Practicing “mindfulness” just involves you being able to actively pay attention to the present moment and let it happen without judgment. Instead of allowing your mind to wander, just live in the moment and allow all of your passing, distracting thoughts to pass by without getting caught up in them.
There are a lot of parts of your day that you can add mindfulness to. While it is great to do to improve your exercise, you can also practice mindfulness while you are eating, while you are at work, or even while you are just doing chores around the house. Just start paying attention to the sensations that you are experiencing at that time. You can also take formal mindfulness meditation courses or become involved with other mindfulness-based interventions.
If you are new to mindfulness, it may be best to start with some professionally organized mindfulness training. However, you can also start with small steps on your own to incorporate mindfulness into your life when you feel stress or anxiety and just allow your skills to build.
The reason that mindfulness is especially effective during exercise is that exercise is a form of stress, even though it is healthy stress. Mindfulness can help you regulate your body’s response to the physical stress of the exercise. Ultimately, it is becoming increasingly clear that to have a strong body, you must also have a strong mind. There are several ways to increase your mental reserves and harnessing the methods that appeal to you the most can boost your overall wellness.