WRITTEN BY: Bethany Tapp, Certified Personal Trainer and STOTT Certified Pilates Trainer
Meditation has been shown to have many benefits for your mind and body including, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, pain management, helps increase new neural pathways in the brain, potential to stave off brain disease, and even to improve performance and productivity. Meditation is a way to reduce tension and bring yourself into the present moment in time.
Two primary types of meditation exist- seated and active, or moving, meditations. Within those branches of sedentary and active meditations, there are various specific kinds of meditations. The takeaway being if you've tried meditation before but it wasn't for you, don't dismiss it just yet, it may be that you just need to find the kind of meditation that resonates with you. For example, many active individuals have trouble sitting in silence, but there are many options beyond this one. For example, in addition to making meditation a separate activity, you can also incorporate meditation before or after your workout.
Seated or active meditations can be done prior to your workout so you feel energized, can be used to boost performance, or can even be used to reduce anxiety and calm your nervous system before a long or challenging workout. Alternatively, seated meditations are a great type of meditation you can incorporate at the end of your workout to give you a sense of calm or Zen before moving on to your next task or activity.
If you’re just starting your own meditation practice, it’s best to start with small increments of time (3-5 minutes), and to practice on consecutive days in a row before adding additional time to your meditation practice. If you aren’t used to getting in tune with your mind and body, it may seem difficult to you at first. This is normal, don't get discouraged!
Generally, when doing any form of meditation, you want to meditate in a quiet space, with dim lights, a warm room temperature, where the room feels comfortable to you, and the most important piece- ensure that the space has little to no distractions. A quiet environment helps you to have an easier time tuning into your mind and body and allows you to focus more easily!
By incorporating meditation with your fitness routine, you should notice improvements in your motivation for your workout, possible increases in performance, and you should feel a greater sense of calm post workout. The more you dive into your own meditation practice, you will notice the benefits of meditation carry over from your fitness life to other areas of your life too. There’s never a better time than now to start incorporating meditation into your daily life to help improve adherence and motivation with your fitness routine! Start off 2023 by adding meditation into your daily life!
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