Mind over matter may sound cliche, but there’s a reason we hear phrases like this so much. This idea plays a key role even in pop culture where jedi mastering a mystical power with their minds and clever, plucky heroes defeat strong, invincible super villains. However, in our fitness life, we tend to put all of our energy into sculpting our body, forgetting just how intertwined our mind is in our fitness.
When you’re pounding out some heavy reps and all you can think about is that fight with your friend, it’s difficult to push yourself physically. Pacing properly in a long distance run is nearly impossible when you can’t focus on your steps and breathing.
Meditation guides your attention, whether it’s alone in a quiet dark room or in the middle of the day while you’re doing sprints. Not only will meditation help you perform better, it will also supplement workout benefits for your body. Lowered blood pressure, anxiety, and cortisol levels are short-term meditation benefits.
Beginners may find that meditating feels foreign, awkward, or that they’re just not good at clearing their mind. Guided meditations are the perfect way to ease into the world of mindfulness. Apps like Headspace offer programs that promise to make you worry less, smile more, and sleep better. You can also find a handful of free videos and written guides that will help you tap into your zen.
Look out for ways to fit meditation into your summer schedule!
Running. Rather than focusing on the pain, use a guided running meditation soundtrack to pull you through. Plus, you’ll be knocking out your brain and body excercise at once.
By the water. Whether you’re laying on the beach or lounging in a pool chair, pop on headphones and a meditation program. You can time your tanning by picking the right program lengths!
At the airport. Try to name a place off the top of your head that’s more stressful than an airport. If there’s anywhere you could use a lower blood pressure and soothing thoughts, it’s while waiting during a four-hour layover.
On the road. This has the potential to be even more aggravating than the airport. But a focused meditation in the car is a good way to start a trip or commute on the right foot.
The great outdoors. It’s tough to find a location more silent and calming than on the top of a mountain or by a stream in the woods. Hike out your frustrations and treat yourself to a quiet, classic round of meditating in nature.