Could it be the key to getting exercise every day?
If you’ve ever heard of Mindfulness, it surely sounds like a discipline that aims to help put anxiety or stress at bay.
If anticipation or the automatic pilot we live in makes you feel like you can hardly breathe anymore, landing in the here and now, practicing good breathing, doesn’t seem like a bad antidote.
Bringing conscious breathing to all areas of life does nothing but benefit and multiply the good sensations, when not the results.
Putting your breath into everything you do is healing and clears your mind of burdens and frustrations associated with stress.
We do Mindfulness before eating, so as not to eat badly or overeat. We do Mindfulness before a meeting that worries us so as not to screw up or get carried away by nerves. We do Mindfulness in the traffic jam.
Here and now, even in front of the dresser. Putting the five senses in what you are doing to, in this way, focus on the present moment, achieving the lost calm and helping your brain to train against moments of difficult emotions, whatever they may be.
Mindfulness in the gym
Now sports activity experts propose a new format of Mindfulness: meditation and fitness.
The healthiest fitness adds the benefits of mindful breathing to physical exercise. Being here and now can only enhance the effect of your effort and the good feeling afterward that accompanies every little while in the gym (or out of it).
This form of healthy activity is sure to find adherents among the lazy and those who never find a place for sport.
“Meditation is going to become much more than a relaxation strategy since it is a tool that allows you to mold the brain to achieve goals. You don’t have to think about meditation on a spiritual level, Mindfulness completes your physical potential ”(Daniel Molina, physical educator, and director of the Muscular Analytical Center of Madrid)
Why does meditation improve exercise?
To begin with, as we are told from this center by physical recuperators specialized in biomechanics and experts in the functioning of the muscular system, we must understand this new trend from a biopsychosocial approach to fitness: the mind empowers the body.
Let’s say that there is a direct relationship and that they both feedback. On the one hand, doing sports raises our levels of well-being (due to the hormones that it contributes to secrete and which are associated with the feeling of happiness) and, on the other, working on well-being also raises performance levels.
Physical trainers know it: in all sports, the mind is a key element. Until recently, those of us who do not do sports at a competitive level did not give importance to this aspect. Despite the brain being a significant element of performance, it was not given attention or trained.
Breathing to get exercise every day (or almost every day)
Mindfulness means focusing on the here and now, avoiding distractions by controlling the breath, in a gentle way (without judging the thoughts or feelings that come, good or bad). Well, when you train it and, in this way, educate your mind to focus on a focus, as an athlete you achieve maximum performance.
And this is not just for those who have been training for a long time. It is also aimed at beginners. Mindfulness enhances the result, through acceptance of thoughts, emotions, and body sensations, have the level you have.
In case there are doubts, and going to the point, let’s try to answer: How does Mindfulness help you get in shape?
It’s easy: Of every person who signs up to exercise more in January, half have quit before three months.
” Mindfulness is the extra strength that your body and mind need, it helps you free yourself from laziness” adds Daniel Molina. Let’s say that it helps to train a not inconsiderable muscle: that of will. Or discipline, as you prefer.
Doing Mindfulness helps alleviate physical exhaustion, increases performance because it makes you focus on what you are doing. As an added benefit, it improves blood pressure and cortisol levels (a hormone that, in its average values, prevents a long-term loss of muscle mass).
Mindfulness has scientific studies showing that reduces anxiety, depression, anxiety, stress, and improves cognitive function. It also increases the expression of genes related to energy metabolism, mitochondrial function, and telomere maintenance (part of the cellular DNA responsible for the prevention of aging and physical deterioration).
“Just like practicing sports on a regular basis, meditating on breathing helps you sleep better and recover from training in a shorter period of time ”, concludes the expert.
Well, you know, before you go back to the gym, stop and breathe.