How to incorporate mindfulness into your workout routine.
Regular exercise and balanced nutrition are the foundation to living a better life, and mindfulness during exercise can help you make the most of the mental and physical benefits of exercise. To put it simply, mindfulness is a practice where you purposely set your mind to something and focus on it intently.
During exercise, this could mean that you’re taking note of how your body moves, taking time to appreciate your body’s abilities, focusing on breathing, or paying attention to your body’s cues to help prevent muscle strain.
Several forms of exercise that promote mindfulness. An obvious one that comes to mind is yoga – but the truth is, you can apply mindfulness techniques to many other activities. Hiking, dancing, swimming, running, Pilates … all are great options for mindful workouts. As long as you are focusing on the activity in the moment and taking account of what’s happening around you, your thoughts, and the changes you feel in your body, you’re incorporating mindfulness into your workout.
Embrace the feelings that come with mindful exercising: A lot of changes take place in the body when we exercise. You might notice your cheeks become hot and flustered, breathing can become irregular, and your muscles might feel tighter or warm while moving.
Pay attention to these sensations and use them to your advantage. For example, if you’re out of breath, try slowing your breathing to a normal pace or focus on the cool sensation of a water-based aloe drink flowing soothingly down your throat. It’s a great way to stay refreshed and work on your mindfulness practice at the same time.
Eliminate any distractions: Anyone who’s ever gone to a gym will tell you how noisy it can get. From machines to people chattering away, it’s not the best environment to focus on your practice. Instead, find a quiet place to exercise where noise won’t bother you – especially when you’re starting out on your mindfulness journey. This is why yoga and Pilates studios are generally quiet and play meditative music – to facilitate mindful exercise. Try leaving your earphones at home when you’re going for a run. You’ll be much more in tune with your surroundings, for example, how hard you’re treading on the gravel and the feeling in your muscles as you climb a hill and you will be more mindful of your thoughts.
Don’t lose sight of the reason you’re exercising: Everyone has different reasons for exercising. It might be to reach a fitness goal you’ve set, get more active, or simply to climb a set of stairs without huffing and puffing. Regardless of your motivation, the mindful approach asks us to touch base with these intentions throughout our workouts and focus on our intention. This can help boost your morale and push you to believe that what you’re
doing is meaningful to your goals. Take care of all your nutritional needs Mindfulness
comes in all forms and can have an immense impact on your physical and mental well-being, but it will only get you so far when it comes to exercise. You still need to
make sure you’re taking care of your nutritional needs.
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