Why meditate when you want to improve your workout routine? Meditation does not have to be sitting alone in a quiet room for hours on end. It can be a very helpful way to de-stress and help your body recover. Meditation can boost your workout game in a variety of ways, so read on learn more about the advantages of meditation.
In this article:
- Meditation Definition
- Exercise and Meditation
- Benefits of Meditation
- More Health Benefits of Meditation
- Meditation Techniques
Why Meditate to Improve Your Workout Game
Daily meditation has also been called mindfulness. Meditation means to think deeply about something or nothing. When one meditates, they clear their mind of daily thoughts and stressors. This mindful quieting of thoughts allows daily stress to ease away. Often following meditation, the mind is clear enough to provide answers to problems.
A meditative state is typically performed in a quiet room, but again, meditation does not have to be done in this way. For example, some find meditation and exercise together in the form of yoga or tai chi to also enjoy the meditative benefits.
Exercise and Meditation
Your workout routine is a combination of many different aspects of fitness. You include strength, flexibility, and cardio exercises to improve your overall health. Meditation is another part of your workout routine that can be added in within minutes every day. A meditation workout is not another hour of exercise you need to schedule.
You might wonder “Should I meditate before or after a workout session?” The answer is, either. You can successfully meditate before or after your exercise sessions or throughout the day. Most meditation sessions take about ten minutes of time. You will discover the many benefits of meditation within those few minutes.
Benefits of Meditation
The health benefits of meditation will improve your overall well-being. Meditation for exercise goals is also one way to use this quiet practice. Some of the workout advantages of meditation include:
- Reduced cortisol. Your body produces cortisol, a hormone, in response to stress. Exercise is also a form of stress. When your body remains at a high-stress level for long time periods, it can forget how to get out of this stress state. That is when you experience side effects such as fatigue, inability to focus, and muscle pain. When you meditate before or after exercise, you are showing your body how to reduce stress. This decreases cortisol production and the harmful effects it has on your body.
- Enhanced ability to sleep. During sleep is when your body repairs the workout damages. For example, when you strength train, your muscles get small tears. Repairs in these tears happen when your body is at rest. Meditation, especially as part of your nighttime routine, is a great way to improve sleep. As this also improves body repairs, you are able to boost your workout the next day to get closer to your fitness goals.
- Decreased blood pressure. Along with the stress reduction comes a decrease in blood pressure. High stress levels can elevate blood pressure. Although your blood pressure will return to a normal level after exercising, meditation helps this occur quicker. Meditation after a workout session decreases the body’s stress response, which includes blood pressure. As a result, you feel more relaxed, and your heart does not have to work as hard.
More Health Benefits of Meditation
Some more advantages of meditation to the body are as follows:
- Lessens inflammation. This also has to do with decreased stress levels. When your body remains in a stressed state, inflammation occurs. This reduces your body’s ability to recover effectively from workouts and can leave you feeling weak for your next session. Meditation as part of your daily routine can help your body work more effectively.
- Speeds recovery time. When your body works effectively, your recovery time is shortened. This means you are able to work out harder and longer, so you are more likely to reach your fitness goals. Meditation helps the many systems of your body work together toward healthy recovery.
- Improves strength. You can also use it to restore your mental strength. This includes using visualization during meditation. For instance, you can visualize yourself lifting heavier weight loads or completing that 5K run. Meditation helps to strengthen your mind over matter so you are able to accomplish your workout goals.
- Alleviates chronic pain. Along with the mental strength, meditation provides the ability to lessen the effects of pain. Even when you are in pain, short time periods of meditation helps to take your mind off the pain so you feel it less.
- Prepares for the next workout. Meditation before a workout helps to mentally prepare you for your exercise session. You are able to focus on exercising instead of all the things you need to do. After a workout, meditation helps you to transition from a workout state to a relaxed state, which lets your body recover faster.
- Decreases mental stress which also affects muscular recovery. High stress levels affect your mental and physical abilities. Meditation improves both of these, leaving your body and mind better able to handle workouts, recover from workouts, and prepare for the next workout session.
As said above, you can combine meditation with exercise in the form of yoga. This is a beneficial form of meditation for beginners when sitting alone in a quiet room does not work for you.
Sit quietly with your eyes closed for approximately ten minutes. As you do this, sit in a comfortable place where you will not be interrupted. Begin to breathe in and out through your nose. Take deep breaths and feel the breath flowing all the way down your throat and into your lungs. Concentrate only on this breathing, and if a random thought creeps in, try to let it pass.
Other ways of meditation focus on certain phrases such as, “I am loved” or “I am calm.” Choose the best meditation techniques for you and try a variety to boost workout results and your overall health.
Watch the video below to find out the top 5 tips to ensure you’re maximizing your training efforts:
Learning how to meditate can improve your workout routine. You can choose to have your daily meditation in a room alone before starting your exercises or do yoga for a more dynamic meditation session. Why meditate? Why not?
Why meditate? Will you do it for better health or for a more peaceful mind? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.