How To Make Your Workouts More Mindful
Working out doesn't need to be just about working up a sweat. When you exercise, you have the opportunity to learn how to work better with your body and to learn more about it. Practicing mindful behaviour during your next workout may even help you to achieve your health and fitness goals more than just trying to push your body harder.
Firstly, let’s talk about what mindfulness is. In short, mindfulness means focusing on the present moment and not allowing worries about the future to come into play. Mindfulness isn’t just about helping your body and mind to relax. It can help to increase your self-awareness, which can be SO beneficial during training, and it can help improve your concentration and performance.
4 ways to be more mindful during your workouts
Try these mindfulness tips for your next workout!
Listen to your body
Yes, we say this all the time. There’s a really good reason why. For many people, it’s hard to make time to workout, so you may try to push yourself through as much as you can in the time you’ve got. While it’s good to challenge yourself and progress your workouts, ignoring pain or aches in your body may lead to injuries.
Before you start your workout, take a moment to assess your body. How do you feel? Is there any pain or discomfort that could make it hard to workout? Are you feeling less energised than normal? By taking a quick inventory of how you feel, you become more aware of your body and more focused on what you’re about to do.
Correct your posture
Every move you make is affected by your posture, and poor posture can restrict your ability to move. Not only can correct posture help with flexibility, it can help ensure your body is performing at an optimal level. Before you begin any exercise, take a look at your posture, and correct it if necessary. Notice where you are looking, where your feet are pointing and how your shoulders are positioned. As you complete each exercise, keep your form in mind.
Focus on mindful breathing
Your breathing is one of the most powerful tools, not just for fitness, but for mindfulness as well. As you workout, particularly as your workout becomes more challenging, check how you’re breathing. That will bring you back to the present moment and force you to focus on your body. When you hit a point in your workout where you’re feeling really tested, draw in a deep breath and notice how much it helps you to keep going.
Cool down and chill
Once your workout is over and you’ve done some gentle cool-down stretches, take some time to chill! It’s all about that Savasana — something you can practice anytime. You can also check out some of the recovery sessions in BAM (the yoga program by Sjana Elise, available in the SWEAT app), for gentle, relaxing poses to add to the end of your workout.
Spend a few minutes laying on the ground, breathing deeply. Notice how your body feels after your workout, if there’s any pain or cramping. Tune in to your surroundings, and notice your heart rate slowing down. Think about how nice a cool drink of water feels! You don’t want to zone out completely, rather you want to pause and consider that exact space of time. The point of mindfulness is focusing on the present moment and allowing your body and mind to come together. When you’re ready, stand up slowly and go on with your day!
Your workouts, like many other things in life, are best when your mind and your body are in sync. When you focus your thoughts and energy on the present moment, whether that’s a recovery session, a weight training session or even preparing dinner, things can feel easier. You might even find you begin to enjoy them just a little bit more.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.