Apparently, every woman in the US wants to stick to an effective workout plan, but only a few get the chance to do it. Many claim they are too busy to create time. And even if they get that time, they give up easily. What happens? The truth of the matter is, it all starts in your mind. And that is why todayâ€™s experts will encourage you to find time to meditate before or after an exhausting workout session. According to several studies, meditation can enhance your physical and affect the way your body reacts to exercises. Just like changing your diet and sticking to it, regular exercising requires you to keep the motivation burning, and nothing does this well than practicing mindfulness.
What is meditation and how does it relate to exercising?
Meditation is simply a way of freeing your mind from all the bad thoughts that are affecting your life. According to Buddhist teachings, it is the only cure for your fears, sorrows, confusion as well as anxieties. It encourages concentration, positivity, calmness and clarity, all of which can help encourage exercising regularly without ever thinking of quitting. In short, it allows you to take full control of your mind making it easy for you to decide what and what is not good for you.
How meditation can help your workouts
1. It can help you make better workout choices
The fact is, exercising is not easy. Even if you have a good workout plan, it is always easy to make mistakes along the way. For example, if your main aim of exercising is to lose weight you are required not only to exercise regularly but to stick to a healthy diet. A lot of temptations makes all of these seem impossible.
Since meditation is intended to help your body and mind understand each other, it is possible to listen to what your body needs whether you are in or out of the gym. There times you will feel like eating a good cake. Some days you will want to exercise harder. If your mind can work together with your body, you will always do the right thing the right time.
2. Eliminates discomfort
One of the things that often discourage exercising is painful joints or muscles. According to scientists, meditation works well for pain management than morphine. It might sound exaggerated, but it has been proven. What happens is that meditation allows you to listen to the signals your body sends increasing the sensation.
While meditating, you are required to picture pain as a patient that needs immediate attention. You will listen to it and attend to it, breaking the link between it and your brain. By doing this, you will make it disappear slowly, and before you know it, youâ€™ll just be as everyone else you are exercising with. Being able to get rid of the pain with ease makes it less of a problem allowing you to continuously exercise knowing it is just a temporary sensation.
3. Reduces the levels of cortisol
While exercising regularly will improve your overall well-being, it puts a large amount of stress on your body. The disadvantage of this is that your body will produce cortisol hormone when it is stressed. As you might already know, cortisol is most useful when it is at its lowest level. It will prevent stress from attacking your cells, improve your moods and improve the way your body burns fat.
However, when you have higher levels of cortisol in your body for a long time, things might not go as expected. Point being, your body relates high levels of cortisol to some form of abnormality and will react to it if nothing is done. For instance, instead of burning calories, your body will store the fats making it hard for you to lose weight. Also, it will compromise your immune system.
While the effects might seem harmless at first, it will silently interfere with the way you exercise, and that is where meditation comes in. According to researchers from Thailand, meditation can help lower a feeling of stress by maintaining proper levels of cortisol in your body, and that is why post workout meditation is highly recommended.
4. Speeds up recovery process
If you’ve never exercised before or you’ve stayed long before stepping into a gym, it might be hard for you maintain your workout routine due to because your body will recover slowly. Meditation calms your nervous system stopping the fight and flight reactions that result from tense muscles, decreased serotonin and dopamine and increased cortisol levels.
With these reactions under control, your body can now concentrate on the recovery process. Also, pain, elevated feeling and inflammation that result from your everyday stresses can prevent you from recovering from stress. In short, you will only benefit from your exercises if you are fully recovered.
5. Encourages consistency
You can’t continue exercising if all you think of is the negative part of it. Point being, you need to picture or think of exercising as one of the solutions to your lifeâ€™s problems. Meditation before, during or after your workouts session releases some positive energy allowing you to see the good in what you are doing.
For example, instead of thinking how exercising will make you feel exhausted the next day, you will be thinking of how you will benefit by sticking to your workout program. Even when you are tired, you will want to continue exercising. You will want to wake up each and every morning to perform your exercises. In short, meditation will train your brain to wait for results making it impossible for you to give up along the way.
As you can see, meditation offers a variety of benefits that are vital not only for your mental but also for your physical health. But just like exercising, perfecting meditation requires practice. Here are some tips.
How to meditate successfully
- Choose a perfect time – Ensure that the time you choose for meditation doesn’t conflict with other activities
- Find a quiet room – you can’t concentrate on your thoughts if you are in a noisy place. So, create some room in a quiet place and place a mat on the floor.
- Sit comfortably – You can only meditate for a longer time if you are sitting comfortably. So, maintain a right posture.
- Start slow – is hard to remain calm for long hours with your eyes closed and doing nothing. If you are planning to do it for the first time, aim for 3 to 4 minutes and build on as you go.
- Take a few breaths – Breath in deeply while at the same time trying to clear your mind for approximately 3 to 4 minutes and lastly, open your eyes gently.
- Keep in mind; this time should be yours and your thoughts alone. If you have kids who like playing, find a way to keep them away until you are done.
The final words
It is hard to stick to an exercise routine if you are not in control of your thoughts. Everyday stress from work or people around you will always discourage you no matter how hard you try. Meditation allows you to sit back, relax and go through the problems in your life so that you can find better solutions. It links your brain to your body allowing you to distinguish between what your body needs and wants. If you have set a fitness goal, it will keep on reminding your body that it needs to get out more often making it easy for you to stick to your workout program.