Have you ever found yourself exercising and thinking of what you have to do today or of all the bills, the kids, your job, etc? If so, you may be depriving yourself of the maximal impact your workout can have on not only your body but your mind, as well.
Being present in your workout allows your to become fully aware of your body and drives each movement with purpose. Not only that, it also stimulates your brain cells as you envision the muscle being worked contract and relax with each rep. Focusing inward and on every movement can help decrease stress by turning your workout into a meditation in and of itself.
Reaping the benefits of the mind-body connection happen even BEFORE you step foot in the gym. Visualizing that you are going all out during your work out— imagining yourself performing each set at your best performance— will allow you to go harder, stronger and longer once you get into the gym.
It has also been shown that positive statements and thoughts regarding your abilities and your workout will improve your overall performance. What you think, you become! If you go into your workout with a negative attitude about yourself and your abilities, your body will follow suit.
So instead of just going through your next workout in an automated fashion, bring more awareness to what you are doing and to the ‘here and now’.
Cultivate a mind-body connection to get the most out of every workout by doing the following:
1. Shift your attention
Shift your attention inward and take notice of how your body is doing, how you are feeling. Not only will you get a better workout and understand how your body is moving, you will also reduce the risk of injuries as you keep your mind from becoming distracted by all that is life outside your workout.
2. Mix things up
If you’re having trouble focusing inward, perhaps it’s because you have grown accustomed to the exercise you are doing. Mix things up and start your workout with something new to establish the mind-body connection for the rest of your workout.
3. Have a plan
Knowing what you’re going to do before you get started allows you to remain grounded in the moment instead of having to come up with the next thing to do.
Spend some time visualizing doing your best on your next set between rests. Imagine your run being smooth and paced. Feel yourself giving it your all during spin class.
5. Speak positively to yourself
Your inner dialogue can make or break you. How you decide to speak to yourself can help you stay motivated and push you towards your goals. Stay positive and begin your workout with an empowering statement.