Think mindfulness and exercise don’t go together? Think again! Incorporate mindfulness into your daily exercise sessions and see your workouts transform! Better, stronger, faster with just a little more mind-body connection.
Mindfulness and exercise.
They don’t seem to really together, do they? When you’re sweating your but off, breathing hard, and barely pushing out that final rep, the last thing you’re thinking about it staying present and in the moment. In fact, you’re probably thinking about how you want to be OUT of the moment as soon as possible.
That’s what most people assume about mindfulness and exercise. They think workouts are a time to zone out, to leave your body and mind, and to just get in and out quickly. WRONG. People that think like this are actually neglecting a whole lot of potential energy, strength, and stamina they could be getting by tapping into their mindfulness capabilities during a workout.
Believe it or not, mindfulness is KEY to having an effective workout. It enhances activity in more ways than one. Mindfulness during exercise involves performing a physical movement or activity while still focusing inwardly and remaining aware of your body. You let go of all the other ‘noise’, distractions, and random things going on around you and just focus on YOU…your movements, your breaths, the sensations that you’re feeling. Sounds tough right? Well it’s actually totally doable! And if you commit yourself to it…you workouts will thrive! Here are 5 Positive Ways Mindfulness Can Affect Your Workout.
+ Increased efficiency | you’ll do more productive work with the exercises you choose while expending less energy to do them since you’re so much more focused…no wasting time or reps here
+ Reduced chance of injury | since you’re more tuned in with your body and how it’s feeling, you’re more likely to use good form and stop/ease up if something feels off
+ Increased enjoyment | believe it or not, working out is enjoyable and the more you focus during yours, the more you’ll be able to feel and really bask in the rush of endorphins that movement provides
+ Increased ability to listen to your body and its needs | you’ll be able to tune into your breath, how your muscles and limbs are feeling, and what feels good or not so good
+ Greater effectiveness | every muscle contraction, every stride, and every pulse of your heart means more and does more in your sweat session when you are being mindful…you’re able to work out harder, get stronger, and produce more quality results overall
Exercise should be about a mind body connection anyways and incorporating mindfulness into your workout will feel more natural as you practice it.
Now that you know all the benefits of being mindful during exercise, how about some tips to do just that?!
I try to consider exercise an active meditation, focusing on the movements and try my best to keep all the thoughts at bay! | Victoria
Planing workouts in advanced so that I meet an objective helps me stay focused during exercise. | Julie
Leave the phone behind, put on headphones, focus before – literally tell yourself that this is your hour (or whatever) for YOU. | Stephanie
I make sure to breathe and reallllly focus on my feeling the muscles working. Mind muscle connection is so important! | Leah
A tip I always say when I’m teaching spin is to leave everything at the door: your day, your stress, etc. During the workout it’s a time to do you and only you! Focus on getting a good workout and pushing yourself both mentally and physically. | Dana
I stay off social media, forget the “gym selfies”, and GET IT DONE. Otherwise, first tap onto a social media, and my workout suffers because I get distracted. | Sarah Grace
I repeat a mantra during repetitions “It’s supposed to feel hard” Which normalizes the energy output, heavy breathing and fatigue in my legs. | Ellie
I leave behind my phone, try to really feel my muscles and be aware of the movements, and try to soak up the energy in the room (I do a lot of group fitness). If I’m discouraged, I try to remind myself that exercise is something I “get to do” vs “have to do.” | Catherine
I plan out my workouts ahead of time, but stay mindful to how my body is feeling and make adjustments as necessary! | Katie
I’m not saying mindfulness during exercise is easy…heck I struggle with mindfulness in everything I do let alone my workouts! But it can be done and lately I’ve had a little helper to get me more into the ‘zone’….if you know what I mean.
That little helper is my new Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker.
Have you heard of it? Well if not, let me tell you…this little tracker is going to revolutionize your life. In more ways than one.
Not only does it have all the regular features of activity trackers (steps, active minutes, etc.) but it also records data in terms of tense, focus, and calm streaks. In a tense streak, Spire is able to anticipate a stressful event before it even happens based on respiration rate (elevated and erratic in this case). This way it can alert you and give you insights on how to handle the oncoming experience. These insights include mindfulness exercises from experts like Thich Nhat and Deepak Chopra (love him!).
In a focus streak, Spire is able to sense when you’re breathing is medium speed and consistent while your body is not in motion. This is the hardest state to achieve but the better you get with the suggested mindfulness exercises, the more frequently you’ll experience true focus. A calm state is optimal. It occurs when your breathing is slow, controlled, even, and smooth. It can be reached naturally or purposefully by practicing mindful breathing exercises.
The thing I love about Spire is how intuitive it is! If you’re struggling with Calm or Focus, you can request a ‘boost’ from the app that the tracker connects with and be guided through a specific exercise to enter one of those states. It really is so cool! The app is easy to use, integrates seamlessly on my phone, and the data it records is so awesome to look at and explore on a daily basis.
Not only does it help with stress reduction overall (it has for me!), but it teaches you how to actually USE the stress in your life more positively to perform at a higher level. It acts as your personal mindfulness trainer and has really helped me return to my breath. Breathing is so incredible in what it can do for your body and mind. Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker accentuates its power.
Needless to say, I’m in love. Tracking activity and mental wellness all in one?! YES PLEASE. All activity trackers should have these capabilities in my opinion!
Do you practice mindfulness during your workouts?
What’s your favorite way to recenter yourself and be more mindful every day?
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.