How Mindfulness Can Make Your Workouts More Effective

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Mindfulness is a term that has become increasingly popular in the fitness and wellness community, but what does mindfulness really mean? Mindfulness is focusing one's attention on the present moment instead of reliving the past or picturing the future. This allows us to bring awareness to our thoughts, feelings, emotions, bodily sensations, and our environment in every moment. Although this is easier said than done, practicing mindfulness in your day to day life can greatly improve both your mental and physical health. It can even be used to make your workouts more effective.

Benefits of Exercise and Mindfulness

Better results - When you pay attention to every exercise and the muscle you are targeting, you will be able to get a better mind to muscle connection and improve the quality of each rep.

Stronger connection to your body - Mindfulness allows you to be fully aware of the exercises you are performing and how your body feels throughout your workout.

More satisfaction - When you fully focus on your workouts, they are higher quality and leave you feeling fully accomplished.

How to Be More Mindful In Your Workouts

Learning how to be mindful in your life and throughout your workouts can take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it will greatly impact how you live your life. Here are a couple ways you can implement mindfulness into your workouts:

Have a goal for each workout - Whether it's working out for a specific amount of time, strengthening specific muscles, or just challenging yourself, having a plan going into your workout will allow you to focus on what you are trying to accomplish right now instead of where you are trying to get in the long run.

Remember why you're exercising - During your workouts, it can be easy to let your mind wander to all of the other things that you are supposed to be doing. When this happens, it can distract you from what you are trying to achieve from working out in the first place and make your workouts less effective. Instead, it is important to remember why you are working out in the first place and how this workout can help you right now. Some examples of this could be:

"This workout will energize me for the rest of the day"

"Exercise is an important part of taking care of my body"

"I will be really proud of myself if I complete this workout"

Slow down - It is important to make the most of the time you set aside to workout, but that doesn't mean you should be rushing through every exercise. Make sure that you're taking your time with every movement, especially with strength training exercises. Pay attention to your form, keeping good posture and tightening your core throughout the movements. Slow down and focus on the muscle you are targeting by feeling it contract and relax for every rep. This will allow you to make the most of your workout and time. 

Breathe - Focusing on your breathing is one of the easiest ways to relax your mind and bring your attention to the present moment. If you notice that you are becoming distracted by your phone or start getting lost in thought, take a couple deep breathes and bring your attention back to your workout and what you are trying to accomplish in the present moment. 

End on a Good Note - Even if your workout didn't go the way you expected, it is important to end your workout on a good note. This way even if you didn't reach the goal that you set out to do, you will still leave your workout feeling accomplished. This could be pushing yourself through a final exercise that leaves you feeling tired or allowing yourself to cool down and remember the good parts of your workout. Regardless if your workout was good or bad, you should be proud to have gotten yourself to workout in the first place. 

If you often find yourself getting distracted throughout your workouts and not feeling accomplished afterwards, implementing mindfulness into your fitness and wellness routine could change the way you exercise and leave you more satisfied after your workouts. 


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