Mindfulness encourages you to pay attention on purpose. The key to integrating mindfulness with exercise is to stay aware and in the present moment, no matter how you’re moving. For some, mindful exercise means understanding where their body is as it moves. For others, mindfulness can be a spiritual component to exercise and provide a deeper level of consciousness.
Mindfulness can help you reach the next level of your physical and mental health goals, as it can improve any negative judgment you may have of yourself as you move. What’s more, staying mindful during a workout can boost your brain’s endurance to remain still and focused for extended periods. This can be particularly helpful if life has you feeling disorganized or distracted or you are trying to overcome physical challenges.
When thinking today about your next workout, try these tips to ease into mindfulness:
- Pay attention to your breath. Focus on your inhales and exhales, and coordinate them with the pattern of your movements.
- On your next run or brisk walk, turn down the music. Listen to the rhythm of your steps.
- As you lift weights, think about how your muscles contract. Coordinate your exhales with each strong push.
- Attend an exercise class that’s new to you. Practicing foreign movements will reinforce a stronger focus on your body’s abilities and sensations.