We’ve all had moments where we lose our focus. We may have hit a plateau, be feeling cold and wanting to stay in bed before that morning sweat session or focus more on life’s stress than our workout.
There’s something we miss when we don’t give our attention to the moment at hand. That flow, that focus – the potential for greater results is lost when we don’t bring mindfulness to the moments we’re in.
When we aren’t focused on what we’re doing, we sometimes lose our sense of satisfaction for the work we’re doing. To boot, we may actually hurt ourselves with these distractions. If you’re in a rush to be done, how careful are you with your form? If you’re zoning out on that run, are you engaging all your core, hitting your breaths or pushing yourself to improve your pace?
Mindfulness during exercise can also bring you:
- A stronger connection to your body: When you focus on each exercise, the muscles you’re working you’ll have a better understanding of your body, limitations and what you can achieve.
- Better results: Improved mindfulness yields stronger quality of your movement and, thus, the quality of your overall workout.
- Greater satisfaction: When you know what you’re working towards, how each exercise feels and whether you’re getting the most out of each exercise, you end your workout knowing you did your best.
5 Ways to Be Mindful During Your Workout
- Have a Purpose for Every Workout
Often, people start exercising to lose weight, but that isn’t something that will happen during a single session. Mindfulness is about having something to attack in the moment. Having a purpose provides focus, something to work for and something you can feel great about when you’re in the heat of battling those tough reps. Some great examples of purpose include:
- Completing a planned workout
- Reaching a specific heart rate zone
- To strengthen specific muscles
- To reach a specific number of calories burned or distance met
- Remember WHY You’re Exercising
Ever find yourself zoning out or just going through the motions during your workout? Does your mind drift to other things you need to tackle? Remember why it’s important to do your workout. Reflect on the reasons you’ve made to make it a priority and how this one session will help right now. Some thoughts:
- This session will give me more energy for my day
- I’ll feel great about myself if I finish
- I’ll sleep better tonight after this workout
- I feel less stressed when I exercise
- Exercise is self-care
- Slow Down
Slowing down is a tough one for some of us. Remember that setting time aside specifically for a workout is important and often difficult. Give yourself the mental space to do this work out. Take your time with each activity and each movement. Form. Posture. Solid core. Think about these things, including the muscles you are targeting. Focus on the way they feel. See how much you can get out of your exercise time.
- Remember Your Breath
Next week, we’ll dedicate our post to the box breath and things you can do with breathing during exercise. But as a reminder, if you catch your mind wandering during a workout or find yourself watching the clock, close your eyes, grab a breath and bring yourself back to the moment. You’re exercising now and that’s the only thing you should be focused on. You’ll be able to handle everything else after you’re done.
- Focus On The Positives
Focus on the positive things happening in your body during a workout, and when you’re done, remember all that work you just put in. Give yourself time to cool down. Mash and roll all the muscles you worked. If you can, take a few minutes to sit and meditate or lie down for a final relaxation. This gives you a chance to feel all the effects of the work you put in.
Sometimes we absolutely need an escape from ourselves, to let our bodies go through the motions and allow our mind to wander, but if all your workouts are distracted, it’s time to make a change. Start with mindfulness during a single workout. Pay attention to what you’re doing, how you’re feeling. Focus on what it is about that workout that makes you seek a distraction. Over time you’ll see just how changing your focus can inspire future mindfulness and greater satisfaction, both in your workouts and in life.
Have any questions about mindfulness and working out? Stop in and see us. We’re happy to help you set some intentions and teach you more about bringing focus to your routines.