Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

July 27, 2018 // Archive

Date based archive
27 Jul


On our fitness journeys, we train our bodies, but we also need to train our minds. Inner awareness, focusing, redirecting your thoughts, and developing concentration, are all benefits of meditation. Other positive associations include improved mood, sleep improvement, more self-discipline, and less symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Emotional health is also boosted by the reduction of depression and anxiety. Others say it has bettered their memory and attention span. The list goes on to include decreasing blood pressure, pain reduction, and helps fight addictions.

But to be honest, meditation stressed me out more. Sitting in stillness actually increases my anxiety. As a Women’s Health Magazine Action Hero, I read the magazine from front to back each issue that comes out. And well, I really related to Jenny Everett’s article in the July/August 2018 edition, called “Micro Meditations”. Now this, I can handle. Multitasking meditation is right up my ally.

The alarm clock in the morning isn’t exactly a gentle start to the day. But staying in bed for 2 minutes to take a few deep breaths, listen to the birds, and stretching out the body, is a much better way to ease out of bed. An abrupt jumping out of bed to rush the getting ready process doesn’t set the best tone for the day.

Smell the coffee, and stop burning your mouth trying to get it in. Stop adding sugar and taste the java.

A shower has many scents, sounds, and temperatures. Feel it. Feel the fresh water. Don’t just hop in and hop out.

The make-up routine for women or shaving process for men can be good for focusing the mind for the day. It actually makes you feel good about yourself before getting to work to meet deadlines and hustle.

Even when taking the stairs (which you should), think about each step. A lot of muscles are working in that body to produce movement.

When someone compliments you, be grateful and think about it for a few moments after. Smile that someone said these words to you.

When driving, turn the music off. There’s a lot of noise to the rest of your day. Let the mind focus and be in the present. Listen to sounds of the car and to the road.

When you say thank you, mean it. Explain why you are grateful to the person. So often we say it but don’t mean it. Appreciation and acknowledging someone else’s effort or kindness goes a long way.

Instead of being frustrated while on hold on the phone (because we love the world of automated phone directories), be happy you have some time to just get this task done. Maybe slowing down for a moment is okay.

When on a run or walk, maybe no music, no phone, just you. Be in the zone of that run. Let the body and mind feel good and release those positive endorphins.

And when eating, just eat. No distractions. Take bites, don’t inhale. Smell and taste that food in front of you. Mindful eating helps with portion control and even weight loss.

Finally, when it’s time for bed, scan the body from head to toe. Breathe in and breathe out to just breath. Aches and pains subside when you just sink the body into the bed. Clear and declutter the day.

So these are what I’ve started to do. I think they’re very helpful tips to include on your fitness journey. A little meditation here and a little meditation there feels pretty darn good. Your mind and BODY will appreciate thank you.