Whether you exercise to lose weight, tone up, or just live a healthier lifestyle, there may be a key factor missing from your routine. You have probably heard of mindfulness, but what about mindful exercise? If you’d like to get more from exercise, read on to learn how to crank up your workouts by being more mindful.
Mindfulness in and of itself can make a huge difference to your overall health and fitness. Tons of diet pills claim to lower cortisol, the stress hormone that not only helps you gain weight but makes you gain it in all the places you don’t want it. However, being more mindful with focused breathing or quiet reflection lowers those levels for without any other potentially dangerous ingredients. Here’s how can you apply the same process to your exercise routine.
Start Your Workout With a Body Scan
A body scan is a simple meditation that involves mentally scanning your body head to toe and being more mindful of any sensations that crop up. This is a great way to focus on the feelings of your body rather than the thoughts of your mind. Also, it helps you set yourself up for one of your most driven workouts yet. It also lets you hone in on sore or tight muscles so your body can let you know if you need to take it easy or skip the run altogether.
Focus on Your Form
The number one reason to practice proper form is to prevent injury, but the form your body naturally gravitates toward is the easiest. By being more mindful of your body’s position and sensations, you’ll know if your workout is lacking or if it’s truly hitting all of the muscles you want it to.
The Benefits of Being More Mindful
When all is said and done, it can be easy to turn to the couch or a not-so-healthy snack before anything else. But taking just a minute post-workout to close your eyes and think everything through can make a world of difference. Beyond talking yourself out of those temptations, it gives you the opportunity to figure out what did or didn’t work from your session. By being more mindful, you can take that knowledge into your next one.
Most important, though, is the potential that mindfulness has to actually make you like exercise more. One study found that being more aware of the way your body feels during and after exercise makes it more satisfying. When a workout makes you feel accomplished, it can make you want to get right back up and do it again. So be more mindful, and get going.