Incorporating mindfulness into physical activity is an effective way to reduce stress, increase relaxation and improve overall physical wellbeing. Also,
- Mindless exercising equates to a waste of your time; despite putting in effort, you don’t reap its benefits.
- Being more attuned to any sensations of pain and discomfort helps reduce risk of injuries.
- Being mindful creates, honours and fosters a deep connection with your body.
- Mindful exercising facilitates self-regulation processes of attention and allow for better thought and mood management to increase physical and sporting performance.
Here are concrete steps you can take to increase mindfulness levels during your physical activities:
- Set goals for your workouts.
- Plan your physical activity.
- Create a clear intention before exercising: Why are you exercising? How much exercise are you going to complete?
- Be aware of your body as a whole. Notice how quickly your breathing changes.
- Focus on your breathing.
- Pay attention to your form and the level of effort you are putting in.
- Observe your body’s responses: check your energy levels, stamina, strength.
Photo Credits: http://pickyeaterblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Whole-Heart-photo.jpg
Stason, A., (2013) Mindfulness and Exercise: How Can Mindfulness Improve Your Fitness? Body Kinetics.
Rivera, O., Quintana, M., & Rincón, M. E. Effects of Mindfulness on Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity: A Systematic Review.