Many people think that fitness is all about the hard workouts and the sweat. However, that’s not true. Fitness also includes your mind. That’s why meditation is such a great thing to add to your daily fitness routine. Meditation is a state of having a clear mind and being free of though.
There are many types of meditation:
- Guided meditation is also called imagery or visualization. You form mental images to help you relax.
- Mantra meditation is when you silently repeat a calming word, thought, or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts or boost your mood.
- Mindfulness meditation is focusing on the present moment and having an increased awareness.
- Qi Gong is a meditation method of combining meditation, relaxation, physical movement, and breathing to restore and maintain balance.
- Tai Chi is a meditation method that includes gentle Chinese martial arts in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.
- Yoga is another method of meditation that includes physical movement. Yoga promotes flexibility and being calm. It also helps you with balance and concentration.
No matter what kind of meditation you chose to do, it has a ton of fitness benefits.
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Meditation will help you to sleep better at night. You are more mindful and more relaxed. You can focus on the moment, so your mind isn’t going 1000 miles a minute and thinking about all the “what-ifs” and everything you have to do tomorrow. And, we all know how better sleep will help your fitness goals!
Get Sick Less Often
There have been many studies done that correlate meditation to a stronger immune system. Meditation helps alleviate asthma, high blood pressure, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, tension headaches, and even helps to prevent cancer! It helps to increase the antibodies and serotonin in your body as well.
Reduces Chronic Pain
Meditation acts as an effective alternative to medication. Since pain is in the mind, it helps alleviate the pain you might get from workouts (which also helps you push harder and go longer), but it also helps to alleviate the physical pain that comes from anxiety and depression.
Lowers Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
Meditation lowers your blood pressure and lowers levels of blood lactate. So, it helps to keep your heart healthy and lowers your risk of cardiac arrest or stroke.
Since you are more aware of your body while you meditate, you pay more attention to its needs versus its wants. So, you know if you are hungry or not and will be able to keep yourself from overeating.
Helps You Focus on Your Workout
Meditation keeps you focused on your workout because you are practicing clearing your mind and being in the present. It also helps you push harder. The best way is to bookend your workouts–use meditation to help you warm up and cool down.
Use the last 5 minutes of your workout after your cool down stretches. Sit upright with your legs crossed. Close your eyes and then breathe in deeply through your nose. Breath with your chest (not your stomach) for a count of two. Hold your breath for two. Then exhale for a count of four. Repeat for all of the five minutes.
Do you meditate? What kind of meditation do you use? How has it helped you physically?