Being in the Now: Mindful Exercise
Have you ever lost count of how many repetitions you did when lifting weights or not knowing what your treadmill setting is?
When you don’t pay attention to what you are actually accomplishing and feeling during exercise, you may be inhibiting your long-term success. Distracted exercising can contribute to injury and/or put a dent in your effectiveness. Being mindful in what you are doing can lead to being more in tune with both your physical and psychological needs and getting the results you are working toward.
Self-monitoring increases your awareness of and attention to barriers and things that support and help you be successful. By focusing on and monitoring your exercise you'll know whether your intensity is where you want it to be, or if you’re pushing too hard and possibly sabotaging your exercise.
Mindfulness means being in the moment, focusing on things like the rhythm and depth of your breathing, your form and technique of movement, and how your body is warming up and preparing for more strenuous exercise. Mindful exercise also can lead to stress reduction.
Put Supper on the Back Burner
Examples of mindless exercise include focusing on what you’re planning to cook for supper or a work project. There is evidence that being mindful with your exercise can increase enjoyment and adherence, thus support long-term success.
“Self-care is not an indulgence. Self-care is a discipline. It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with.” – Tami Forman