No doubt most people have heard about mindfulness and the importance of it for being present in the moment, but what about mindful exercise? There are so many health benefits of exercise and mindfulness, so combining the two can be beneficial for a full body and mind experience.
Often we think of exercise as something painful to do and tune out to what we are doing by focusing on music, thinking about various parts of our lives or some form of external stimulation. But what about being truly present in the moment and enjoying the exhilaration of feeling what the body is capable of and enjoying the sensation of movement.
Our bodies are truly amazing and so well structured, that often we don’t appreciate the true value of what they are capable of and take movement for granted. By being mindful whilst exercising we can not only feel gratitude for the incredible body we have, but also be in the present moment and enjoying the health benefits associated with this practice.
Some examples of mindful exercising are listed below:
- Feel your breath as you breathe in and out, no matter how intense your breathing may be. Enjoy the ability of the body to transport oxygen to cells to help produce energy
- Feel the muscles working. Focus on which muscles are doing the work as you perform activities. Are they the ones that should be? Are they working evenly? Are you compensating for any pain?
- Feel the environment around you. The ground below your feet, the air in your face, the water on your skin. Take time to actually feel the sensation.
- Feel your heart beating as it transports oxygen and nutrients to the cells and assists with removing waste products from metabolism.
- Be aware of what you can sense – what can you see? Feel? Hear? Smell? Taste?
- Enjoy the feeling of recovery as the muscles stop work, enjoy the sensation of the pain disappearing and how good that feels
- Stretch regularly and focus on the muscle/s being targeted. Feel the stretch, notice when it gives, stretch a little more. Enjoy the release.
- Take note of how your mindset changes with exercise and how calming it is to focus on the present moment.
Too often we spend too much time in our mind in the past or future. By utilising mindful exercise we can not only enhance the benefits of exercise but help train ourselves to be present in the moment and appreciate how amazing we really are.