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Exercise: A Moving Meditation

Take your workouts to the next level by incorporating mindfulness into your exercise routine.

Mindfulness can enhance our workouts. Research suggests that when we intentionally focus on the feeling of our moving body, while deliberately taking in our surrounding environment, we find exercise more enjoyable. By harmonizing our mind and body we can amplify our positive experiences with physical activity to get out of our comfort zone. Being mindful can support our exercising habits, allowing us to make greater strides in our physical and mental well-being.

Get Involved in Mindful Exercise

1. Unplug from Technology

Stay in the moment while you exercise. Eliminating distractions like listening to your favorite playlist, talking on the phone, reading a magazine, or watching TV can help keep you fully present wherever you are: on a trail in the woods, in your neighborhood, or on a treadmill in your home or at the gym. By unplugging from technology, you gain a connection to what you’re doing by feeling your own strength and power as you exercise. When you pay attention to what you are doing in the moment, you will get into a rhythm and flow that builds a stronger connection to your body and the muscles you are working. Get the most out of each workout, get better results, and feel more satisfied.

2. Have a Purpose for Each Workout

Having a purpose for each exercise routine gives you something to hold onto in the moment. When you focus on what you want to work for, you can feel good about accomplishing your goals. Whether you want to strengthen your muscles, challenge yourself to do a few more reps than yesterday, workout for a set period of time, or simply finish your planned workout, setting an intention will allow you to reflect on why you have made exercise a priority.

3. Listen to Your Body, Mind, & Breath

When you bring attention to your physical experience, are there any parts of your body that are working extra hard? Consider your thoughts. How do you feel emotionally? Are you energized? Determined? Feeling depleted? Do you need a minute to refresh? Listen to your needs and push or protect yourself as necessary. Return to your breath. Breathing is the simplest way to manage stress and bring you to the current moment. Inhale and exhale to anchor your attention while exercising. If your mind wanders during your workout, acknowledge your thought and reconnect with your breath to ground yourself in the present moment. Diversus Health Wellness Coordinator, LaDonna Reed, NSCA-CPT*D, CWC, CNC, says, “The closer you stay connected with your body and mind, the easier it is to move around in your daily activities.”

4. Be Kind to Yourself

Notice the quality of your internal thoughts during your workout. Appreciate your current ability, speed, and endurance as they are. Let go of comparisons and thank yourself for showing up for this healthy activity. Go at the pace that is right for you. Be kind to yourself and commit to your workout routine, remembering your reasons for being and staying present from start to finish.

5. End on a Good Note

Give yourself time to cool down and stretch your muscles at the end of your workout. Reflect on all the good things about the time you dedicated to your exercise routine and acknowledge how good your body feels now that you are done. Take a moment to relax. This is your chance to admire the effects of your hard work.

The revelation that mindfulness can happen with movement is often a profound realization for individuals. Start by being mindful in your next workout and notice what it is about mindfulness that makes you more satisfied in your exercise routine.

At Diversus Health, we understand that it may be difficult to deal with the current state of the world. If you need to talk to someone, let us connect you to our professional healthcare providers and counselors. Schedule an appointment with us today.

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