What does being MINDFUL mean when it comes to fitness?
Mindfulness is one of the latest buzzwords these days & to be honest I never really understood it as more than “being in the moment.” Sounds easy enough in theory. But how do you actually apply it? I’ve been noticing the powerful effects of being mindful when it comes to both working out & nutrition in the last few months!
As someone with scoliosis, I always need to be super careful when lifting weights. I avoid lifting too heavy and usually try to make this up with more reps. What was happening was in my quest for maximizing volume, I was going too fast, not paying attention to each rep & was caught out with minor sprains time to time.
I used to blame this on not knowing enough so I thought I’d work with a coach online who’d help me with the basics. There were a few things I probably wasn’t doing 100% accurately but more than that it was my lack of focus. And by that, I mean I was THINKING too much.
Multitasking is the new evil.
I wasn’t focusing on the exercise while I was doing it. I was thinking a gazillion things! “ok I have 3 exercises left today & after my workout I need to send that email and after the email I need to feed my dog & after that I.. blahblah”
Instead, I’ve been trying to focus 100% on each & every single rep. It’s OK to slow down, to do less reps (this was hard for me!) and perfect each and every single one instead.
Now, I’m focusing on each breath, on perfecting my form & really understanding & loving the power behind each movement. As my coach Rishabh says “Focus. Be Strong. You need to feel the power.”
The exact same logic applies to meals. I’m not saying you need to focus on breathing and holding the spoon correctly here! But if you’re used to eating on the sofa in front of the TV/laptop, try eating at the table instead.
I cannot tell you the difference it has made for me, to do this!
1) You actually get a chance to enjoy the taste of your food.
2) You eat SLOWER and tend not to overeat – notice next time that when you watch TV & eat, you feel hungrier & want to keep snacking: forcing yourself to get up and sit on the table works wonders mentally
3) Bonus: sounds basic but eating at the dinner table (not in front of the TV together) is a great way to actually spend quality time with family
I always thought of mindfulness when it came to work or spending time with family but only recently have I realized the power that ‘being truly present’ has on your state of health!