When it comes to getting the most out of your workout, exercise meditation may not be the first concept that pops into your head. Of course, there is a lot more to exercising than meditations. That said, the right sessions can actually boost your commitment to being physically active. This is particularly true when winter approaches and throughout the colder months.
Exercise Meditation is Easier Than You Think
Many people find it difficult to keep up with their workouts when the seasons change. This is particularly true at this time of year when the weather gets colder. After all, when it’s cold and wet or snowy outside, we feel inclined to head inside, curl up under a blanket, and eat fatty and sugary foods. Exercise meditation can help to turn that inclination around so that we stay active even when it’s cold outside.
Practicing exercise meditation on a regular basis can help you to overcome your shrinking enthusiasm to remain physically active. This isn’t just speculation. A recent study has shown that some very simple techniques can indeed solidify commitment to workouts over the winter.
Avoid Becoming Sedentary in the Winter
The study found that on the average winter day, people exercise for about 11 minutes less than they do in the summertime. Considering how little the average person exercises overall, this means that losing 11 minutes of that active time is significant. In fact, it can leave many people essentially sedentary for months on end.
The research was published by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State Universe and other institutions in the Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise journal. It examined various ways used for inspiring individuals to remain active in the Midwest as winter approached.
Motivating Yourself to Exercise
The researchers focused on having its participants learn mindfulness meditation or begin a regular, structured exercise routine. The mindfulness exercise was a mental activity involving meditation. The exercise routine used workouts to overcome inactivity. Though it would seem to make sense that keeping up with a regular exercise routine should motivate people to stay active more than an activity that was exclusively mental, meditating, this was not what the researchers found.
Instead, they found that mindfulness exercise meditation was more motivational for remaining active throughout the winter. At the same time, they found that it also had an impact on the risk of illness such as catching the common cold.
The participants in the exercise meditation study were 49 healthy men and women who were essentially inactive and who had never meditated before. They all wore an activity monitor for the purposes of the study.