The mindful movement experts at Exos know that fitness is good for your brain. Physical improvements like weight loss and getting stronger or faster are great benefits of regular movement. To experience enhanced mental health benefits requires that we also practice a mind-body connection while we exercise.
The trick to maximizing the mental benefits of movement is to form a connection between your brain and body that helps build resiliency and confidence. Keep calm and focused during your workouts and experience more mindful movement by trying these four tips from Exos, the leader in human performance:
Tip 1: Access your inner grit.
Last month, we covered how you can develop grit by combining motivation and passion to keep you striving for those long-term health goals. Research shows that endurance training directly relates to increased focus over time and can help build grit. Add low-level, moderate intensity activities such as swimming, jogging, walking, or cycling for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a week. You just might surprise yourself with your ability to keep going when you want to quit.
Tip 2: Kick your body out of its comfort zone.
You can shift your body into a sympathetic movement state to help fight chronic stress. All it takes is choosing a movement that’s just a bit outside your comfort zone. You can start by choosing a task that pushes your limits and seems a bit intimidating. Just five minutes of each workout adding some intensity can kick-start your body’s natural systems that help you respond positively to stress and build mental and physical resilience.
Not sure where to start? Schedule a personal training session to speak with an Exos Fitness Specialist about how to kick things up a notch.
Tip 3: Focus on the present moment.
Many distance runners and cyclists report that focusing on breathing patterns and pace require them to be fully present in the moment. Practicing mindful focus during low-intensity, repetitive movements like warm-ups, swimming, or even mowing the lawn, can provide a meditative experience that helps your brain relax. Next time you’re working out, focus on your breath and movements and let go of worries so your brain can rest.
Tip 4: Schedule regular mindful movement sessions and reap the benefits.
Regular mindful movement helps us get better quality sleep and gives the brain a chance to rest and become more resilient. Keep up your mindfulness practices to unlock your brain’s creativity and problem-solving ability, improve memory retention, and even boost learning ability. Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain. A simple walk can help your brain work better, while a meditation session can improve awareness and focus by activating the amygdala and prefrontal cortex.
At Mercy Fitness Center, you have many group exercise class and personal training options to help you build grit, resiliency, and take control of your physical and mental health with mindfulness and regular activity. Don’t miss a chance to build up your brain and body with some mindful movement!