Meditation is a great practice for anyone to pick up. There are numerous ways in which it can help you out in your daily life. It helps reduce stress, it helps you focus, many people have found it helps fight addiction and it can even reduce the likelihood of age-related memory loss.
All of this is great, and one of the terrific things about meditation is that anyone can do it. Age isn’t an issue, size or strength level isn’t an issue, anyone can try their hand at it and reap the benefits.
But meditation isn’t as simple as people think it is. It’s something that you have to work on and practice and it does take time to master it.
If you want to try it, following some kind of guide is a good route to take.
Meditation and Working Out…
While many people know about meditation as a way to relax, not everyone is aware that it can also help people who regularly exercise in a number of ways.
Let’s take a look at some right now;
Pain is probably a main reason why a lot of people choose not to workout. The ‘discomfort’ does not appeal to them. Working out hurts, and when you’re done with it, you have to deal with the delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS as it’s more commonly known.
The interesting thing about pain is that it’s really all in your mind. Obviously it’s a physical sensation, but how you manage it is all mental. Some people can break their arm and barely show any signs of distress over it, while others will stub their toe and start bawling.
The former are exercising restraint, using their minds. It’s not a superpower, it’s just being able to control and minimize your reaction. Practicing meditation can help with this and there is actually some science to back it up.
So if you want to avoid dealing with DOMS, try some meditation after your workout and you could try some before too so that your mind is focused on the benefits of the exercise and not the pain.
The most important thing for your body after you work out is the recovery period. This is what you’re exercising for at the end of the day. If you don’t give your body time to recover then you won’t see any results.
Lots of things can impede your recovery, and one of the big ones is actually your cortisol levels. If you’re unfamiliar with Cortisol, it’s more commonly known as the stress hormone and this doesn’t mean that it causes stress exactly, more that it regulates your mood.
Low levels of cortisol are essential to fight stress, but if there is too much cortisol in the body, then you will feel more stressed. When you’re stressed, this is what your body is going to focus on.
It’s not going to focus on the important thing which is your recovery from working out. The reason why it’s relevant here is that technically you are trying to put stress on your body when you exercise.
And so cortisol levels rise, and your body can misinterpret these signals. But meditation, a well-known stress reliever is going to help keep your cortisol levels down.
It’s not just about your post-workout. Meditating before you workout is actually a good idea too. We tend to get worried. I mentioned earlier that pain and discomfort are a big part of the reason why people don’t exercise.
And the thoughts of putting your body under that kind of pressure can discourage you from even going to the gym or getting started with your exercise. And when exercising, if you’re focusing on how sore and uncomfortable you are, you aren’t going to focus on what you’re doing.
Meditation will help you clear your mind and push away all those thoughts of things that are keeping you from your intended goal. If you are feeling apprehensive about your workout, try a 15-20 minute meditation beforehand to calm yourself down.
It will make your workout easier and it will also help you enjoy it more.
So meditation and working out are a lot more closely related than perhaps you realised. Meditation works well for most people and even if it ends up not working for you, it’s still worth a shot.
If you’re skeptical about the effectiveness of any of this, just give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose!
Written by Andrew Malone