Enhancing Your Workout Joyfully with Mindfulness Techniques
There are many great benefits to doing exercise and staying physically fit. Take your routine to a new level by engaging in mindfulness while you exercise. When you put on your jogging shoes or arrive at the gym, turn your mind inwards to enjoy a full mind-body workout.
While you are stretching those muscles, you are also helping to improve your physical and mental health, according to verywell fit. Staying focused can offer relaxation, reduce stress, and encourage your overall wellbeing.
Enjoy exercising and do it for longer!
Being mindful while exercising can also help you to actually enjoy the activity, according to a study in Frontiers in Psychology. Participants were offered short guided imagery audios to watch while working out. After two weeks of using this, they felt more upbeat, they saw exercise in a more positive light, and as a result, they worked out more!
The beauty is that no equipment is necessary when you are adding mindfulness to your routine. In fact, the less equipment, the better, suggests the organization Mindful. If you tend to run with headphones and listen to music, leave them at home and become a minimalist runner.
Focus on your breath. Bring your attention to the here and now, noticing the feel of the pavement under your feet. Look at the trees, becoming aware of nature’s scents and sounds like the rhythmic patter of your feet.
Stay aware of your breath, your muscles, and your pace. When your mind starts to wander, bring it back to this moment. Be aware of how you feel and if you need a break, slow down.
If you are in an exercise class while practicing mindfulness, look within and do not compare yourself to the person next to you. Rather than pushing yourself to make the work out more challenging, be kind to yourself and relax into each movement.
Applying mindfulness to each physical activity
You will soon realize that this attention can be applied to every movement, be it weight lifting, sweating it out on a treadmill, or swimming lengths in a pool.
If you do not like hard core workouts, take yourself outside on a walking meditation. During this mindful exercise, you have no destination. Rather, you are bringing awareness to the act of walking, to your breath, and to each lifting of your foot and pressing it back down to the ground.
Such an awareness will also help you work on negative emotions when exercising, according to The New York Times. You will be better equipped to deal with hunger, fatigue, and self-judgment, especially when people keep passing you on the track! When you are in the moment, you simply accept things.
If you want to transform exercise from chore to charm, go the mindful way. You may feel calm, strong, and stress-free. And you may find yourself going back for more!
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