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3 Ways Meditation Improves Fitness

If you’re like most of us – yes, we do it too – there are times when you simply can’t focus in barre or any other fitness class. Sure, we hear the cues and physically we’re present, but the mind is wondering – thinking about the kids, a to-do list or the argument we just had with a significant other. Not only does an unquiet mind wreak havoc on our psyche, but it also prevents us from getting the most out of our bodies every time we exercise.

What can we do to get more out of our regular fitness routine? Meditate.

Gone are the days when meditation conjures images of holistic retreats and Birkenstocks. Meditation has infiltrated the mainstream, and for many, daily life.  Extensive benefits of meditation are rooted in scientific research, and include: improving attention and concentration, reducing levels of anxiety and depression, and increasing an overall sense of well-being.

Here are just three ways a consistent meditation practice can help you get better results from your next workout:

  • Because of its ability to quiet the mind, meditation can help us focus more on the mind-body connection in any fitness routine. By applying mindfulness, we connect to what an instructor or coach is cueing, allowing us to focus on the movements our muscles should be making, resulting in a stable, more effective workout.
  • For the body to truly restore — healing the cells damaged during exercise and to adequately prepare for the next exercise session — 8 hours of deep sleep are recommended. Studies show that meditation leads to greater relaxation, which makes deep, needed sleep more attainable. When well rested, we are more alert in our classes, and able to execute movements in proper form.  This simple factor leads to better results and fewer injuries.
  • While we don’t actively promote weight loss in our barre classes, our students realize it is one of the many benefits of a regular and mindful barre practice, especially when eating right. When our minds are busy, we make poor choices at the grocery store, at restaurants, or any time our body signals that it needs fuels – sometimes reversing all the benefits of a workout, in just one sitting. Meditation allows us to have a greater focus on our wellness goals; giving us pause to make the best decision about our food choices because our minds aren’t in a state of frenetic activity.

If you are new to meditation, check out www.headspace.com, or download their app. For free, you will have access to 10 sessions to get you started. Yes, it takes practice like everything else. But it won’t take long before you’ll start to reap the gains of a regular practice of calming the mind. Happy meditating!