When you hit the gym, does your mind run a mile a minute, while your body struggles to keep up? If you find yourself distracted while working out – constantly checking the clock or running through your to-do list – then you could benefit from a little mindfulness.
Not only will it help you calm that overactive chatter in your head, being mindful can also help you get a better workout.
Mindfulness simply means becoming more aware of the present moment. Being mindful during your workout helps you stay connected to your strength as you move through each exercise. And when you lose focus, your workouts just aren’t as effective.
Here are some ways being mindful will get you a better workout and better results.
• Mindfulness boosts your mind-body connection. I’m sure you’ve heard this popular term several times. But do you really know how to use your mind-body connection related to your fitness goals?
This is how it works, go within and focus on contracting the specific muscle your working on during the muscle-shortening phase of the exercise. The more focus and tension you can put on that muscle the stronger you will become and the faster your results.
• Mindfulness gets you better results. When it comes to training (and especially strength training), your overall form is extremely important! Being mindful during your workout improves the quality of your movement and exercise technique. This means less injury and better quality workouts for better results.
• Mindfulness leaves you feeling satisfied. If you focus more on your workout, moment by moment, you’ll have a sense of pride and accomplishment when you’re done. You’ll end your session feeling satisfied and knowing you truly did your best – now that’s a good feeling!
Tips on Training with More Mindfulness
Sounds great, right? But how do you actually put mindfulness to work for you? Here are a few tips to get you started.
• Highlight a purpose for each training session. While you may have a big “why” that’s driving you and keeping you motivated, you also need to enter each workout with an immediate purpose that you can focus on.
For example, you might decide to concentrate on working your lower body for today’s strength training session. Or you might set a goal for a certain number of calories you want to burn during a cardio workout. Make your purpose achievable and measurable – and then, focus!
• Don’t rush it. Your time in the gym is just that – YOURS! Take your time once you start your workout and don’t rush through the movements. Focus on your form, particularly in strength training exercises. The goal isn’t to get in and get out – the goal is to make your time count!
• Breathe. Sounds easy, right? If you find yourself rushing or your mind wandering to a long list of “to do” items you need to tackle, bring yourself back to the moment by taking a deep breath. Remember, this is your time to exercise – everything else can wait.
So, when you feel the need to pop in earbuds and zone out on the treadmill, consider a change of course. Try working out without any distractions and stay mindful during your next workout.
Pay particular attention to what your body is doing and how it feels.
Changing how you exercise can make your time at the gym more enjoyable and unbelievably satisfying!