Mental wellness continues to take a front seat in many people’s daily lives due to the events of the last two years.
We know that reaching your physical goals requires hard work and dedication, but the gym is also a place where we can get a mental workout too.
Set an intention. Before starting a workout, set an intention. Having something to focus on during a difficult part of the workout reminds you of what you’re working for, and therefore is something to feel good about.
Say something like, ‘I take a mindful approach to my exercise and life,’ Recite this mantra every morning just upon waking. What I tell clients is why not get our subconscious assisting with how we want to live.
Focus on your breath. Becoming more present with your breath helps bring awareness to your movement. Breathe in through the nose and out of the nose and see how long you can maintain attention on the cool air coming in and the warm air going out. After practicing a basic breath practice you can then bring your mindful approach more intentionally to your training and every exercise in your program. In your next workout, pause before a challenging exercise and take a couple light, slow, and low breaths.
Pay attention to your body during exercise. Practicing mindfulness during an exercise can be tricky as our minds tend to either zone out or for example, start thinking of our to-do list. Although this is normal, try bringing your awareness back to your exercise when you lose focus.
If you are new to practicing mindfulness, try it for just a brief section of your workout. For example, for one minute, focusing on the feelings of your muscles or posture: from your big toe to the top of your head. As you get better at continually focusing on how your body feels, extend your time spent being mindful during each session.