MEDITATION FOR FITNESS Posted on 14 July 202119 November 2021 by Michelle Jones All of that time spent challenging your body can wear you out, so sometimes you need to relax and exercise your mind instead of your body. There’s no need to jump off that treadmill and adopt the lotus position though; Meditation during a workout just means tapping into the benefits of meditation in a specific and deliberate way to help improve your metabolism, increase brain activity and lower blood pressure. Meditation for fitness can also intensify the stress-reducing benefits of exercise and help you get into better shape, faster, by forcing you to visualise the process and the results. Here are the main benefits of meditating to promote better health and a better workout: BOOST IMMUNITY Meditation can boost the electrical activity in your brain and this, in turn, may help to improve your immune function, according to recent research. Additionally, the practice of mindfulness, where the person meditating pays attention to their current experience in a non-judgemental fashion, helps you to understand yourself better. Once this is achieved, all the other benefits associated with meditation fall into place, such as reducing stress levels, reducing the risk to your heart and giving your system more energy to bolster your immune system and boost your workout. BETTER SLEEP You can improve your night-time sleep by practising deep relaxation methods during the day, according to several studies. And the more alert you feel for a workout, the longer you’ll last. LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE The American Heart Association already recommends meditation as an alternative to dieting and medication to lower blood pressure. One study found that mindfulness-based meditation lowered both diastolic and systolic blood pressure among those with pre-hypertension (a blood pressure that is higher than 120/80 but lower than 140/90). Lower blood pressure means a better workout too – you can push yourself that little bit harder to achieve the best possible results. LESS PAIN No pain, no gain? The next time you feel like halting a workout because it all gets too much, you may want to try meditating. It has been proven that meditating for little over an hour can dramatically reduce pain. BETTER HEART HEALTH By regularly practising Transcendental Meditation, which is a 20 minute twice-daily form of meditation, you could lower your risk of a stroke or heart attack by almost half. HOW TO INCORPORATE MEDITATION INTO YOUR WORKOUT: • Breathe – take deep, slow breaths through your nose and out of your mouth. This will relax your muscles and focus your mind. When your heart rate increases during a workout it can be difficult to breathe deeply and slowly, but this exercise will help you achieve this before you begin and throughout your workout. • Focus – remove the stresses of the day from your mind and focus on your workout. Put whatever your current workout goal is at the front of your mind and everything else to one side as you workout at our no contract gym. • Adopt a mantra – whether you use the same mantra for every workout or change it to accommodate your current goal, make sure you adopt a mantra that states your goals, desires or challenges. For example, if you want leaner and strong legs, visualise this and focus on the goal as you repeat “for legs that are lean and strong, I will work out hard and long”.