Meditation is like a very quiet superpower. Learning to clear your mind and breathe deeply can give you a competitive edge in all aspects of athleticism, in fitness and beyond. The benefits of meditating before a workout, after a workout and in-between are numerous.
Pre and Post Workout Meditation Does More Than You Realize!
Before a workout, a bout of meditation that incorporates deep breathing will oxygenate your muscles and brain to prep your system for top performance. In addition, clearing your mind before you dig into a hard workout or competition can help you keep your eye on the prize with less distraction. Though most meditation protocols ask you to clear your mind, you can still take a few minutes once you’ve done so to visualize what you want to pull off athletically. You can set a goal for your workout or wellness and reaffirm the positive mantras you’ll use to invigorate your mind and body when the going gets tough.
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Taking a quiet moment to reflect on your progress can help you set intentions and clarify future goals. In addition, post-workout meditation can provide tangible physical benefits. Clearing your mind and focusing on breathing can reduce the level of stress hormones like cortisol from building up in your body as it shifts into recovery mode. Lowered amounts of cortisol coursing through your system can mean better sleep, which boosts recovery even more. In addition, some people report reduced pain after workouts when they meditate. Keep in mind, the deep breathing that goes along with meditation boosts oxygen delivery to all parts of the body. That means your body can jumpstart muscular recovery.
Meditation can help boost mood and keep stress at bay so you can feel more rested and ready to move, and get the things done that you need to get done in order to maintain your active life! Meditation can help you clear your mind and, ultimately, reset and refocus your thoughts in order to stay on track with goals. Studies have shown that regularly meditating and exercising can help some individuals regulate mood (and sometimes even stave off depression).
The bottom line is that meditation has the power to bring out your strength!
You don’t need a ton of time, money or a special location to meditate. Check out the app Headspace. It has made learning how to meditate and making meditation a regular habit both easy and accessible. You can sign-up for free, and immediately tap into Headspace-guided meditations. The first one is just 3-minutes long. (You don’t have time not to do it.)
Headspace invites you to explore and try different guided meditations to suit your needs. Whether you meditate pre-workout, post-workout, pre-workday or at your desk, Headspace can help you learn how to be “in the here and now” right now!
Take a moment - literally just a few minutes to stop and take a few deep breaths - and start feeling the power and freedom of having more space in your head.