Do you ever feel that you simply cannot focus on the exercises that you are doing, because your mind is running a mile a minute? Exercising regularly is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but if you are not really present during your exercise, you might as well not exercise.
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Exercises help you protect your physical health and keep you away from health issues such as diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. It can also keep your mental health in check. When you exercise, your body and brain release endorphins that will help you elevate your mood.
Maybe you have heard of runner’s high? The release of endorphins is behind that exact feeling of adrenalin.
Even if you know why you should exercise and how you should exercise, it can still be difficult to stay focused during your exercise. If you spend a long day at work or in school, you might feel exhausted by the time you get to work out.
There is also the notion, that you may simply don’t enjoy exercising. Or like it at all. I have some good news for you though. If you don’t like exercising, implementing mindfulness into it can help you enjoy it more.
Mindfulness can help you make the most of low-intensity exercise, which is the kind of exercise that we all enjoy doing right? Who likes sprinting anyway?
It can help you enjoy exercising – even if it is challenging for you. Keep reading this article to learn how you can implement mindfulness into your exercise.
7 mindfulness tips you can implement into your workout routine
Remove distractions from your workout time
Let’s say you do yoga in the living room with your kids running around in the same room. Your kids are a distraction because you are focusing more on them than your workout. Which is completely natural.
However, if you do want to get the full benefits of your yoga routine, you should find a quiet place or time where you will actually be able to pay attention to your workout. If you are able to get up 30 minutes before you usually do, then you can use this time to do your yoga routine without your kids running around.
Or you can find a quiet room or place, where you are able to focus better. Maybe your partner can watch the kids for 20-30 minutes, while you do yoga and try to focus on it.
Don’t ignore the emotions you feel while working out
Maybe you have noticed, that you feel different emotions during a workout session. This is completely normal. We tend to judge ourselves when we experience these emotions. Try not to do this. Recognize that you feel differently in whatever kind of exercise you are doing, and let it go.
Let’s say you are running. You are out of breath and feel the need to slow down. In this case, a few years ago I would have personally felt disappointed in myself. I would even have felt frustrated that I needed to slow down.
First, you need to remind yourself that feeling like this is ok. It’s also ok to slow down if you need it. Depending on what day you are working out and what you have been doing that day, your body won’t feel the same.
If you work out on a Saturday after you have slept in, you might feel completely different about your workout than if you worked out after a long, stressful day at work.
Your days are not the same, and neither is your body. Some days you might feel like you can run two miles without stopping, and other days you might feel like you can’t even run 200 meters. And that’s ok.
Remember to listen to your body
Following the tip above, it’s also extremely important to listen to your body. Or rather, its reactions. If you feel sensations such as pain, discomfort, or fatigue, try to figure out what your body is telling you.
If you feel pain after a specific exercise, it might be because you are using too much weight and your body is telling you to stop and take a break.
Feeling some discomfort is ok. The feeling of your legs being heavy and achy after doing squats is a sign that you are using your muscles, and that’s fine. But if you feel pain, then you need to figure out why that is.
Listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
Do exercise because it’s fun
If you are working out solely because you have to lose weight or get in better shape, you might not think that exercising is fun. Being mindful is also about having fun with whatever you are doing. Is there some form of exercise that you really enjoy doing? Here’s a list of exercises you can try:
- Walking in nature
You don’t need to have serious and challenging exercises every time you work out. Sometimes it’s good to do something, that you absolutely enjoy doing. This will keep you motivated.
Mindfulness can be easily implemented to this tip, as you tend to be more present when you are doing something that you enjoy doing.
Figure out your why
Your why is always important. Even when you are trying to be more mindful during your workouts. Take the time to recognize and figure out why you want to exercise. This can help make it feel more meaningful and worthwhile.
Ask yourself why this workout is important to me and get back to this answer when you find your workout challenging or difficult.
Try slower forms of workouts
If you feel overwhelmed by exercising with different equipment and weights, try finding slower forms of exercise that will help you focus on your movements and breath. Some ideas are:
- Yin yoga
- Thai chi
Focus on the quality of your movements
Being mindful of the way you perform different exercises, will allow you to get the most out of a workout in a safe way with better posture.
If you are focusing on simply hitting a goal, it can be difficult to remember focusing on the quality of your movements.
During my workouts, I often use squats as exercising. If I rush through this exercise, I won’t get as much out of it, as if I really pay attention to my movements.
The way you do this exercise is also extremely important, as it can cause a lot of damage if you do it wrong.
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I would love to hear which tips were your favorites in the comments below…