Want to improve your workouts without lifting a finger? Take a hint from elite athletes. Use pre-workout meditation!
“Meditation” is the process of finding consciousness. It involves tuning into one’s breath, body and thoughts to shut out distractions that derail your concentration and clarity. Often, meditation is promoted as a useful technique to increase overall focus and relieve stress.
Meditating before a workout can improve athletic performance.
The process of meditation involves four elements according to Holistic-online; sitting still, remaining in a comfortable position, focusing on a single thing and poised awareness (the ability to notice, but not respond to external distractions while tuning into one’s body and mind).If done pre-workout, the elements of meditation can prepare you to get up and crank out your last few reps in the weight room or help you remain focused enough to push through the last few minutes of a run!
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Pre-Workout Meditation Provides…
1. Better Breathing.
Meditation focused on deep breathing readies the lungs, diaphragm, abdomen and other respiratory system-related organs and muscles, including the heart, for increased effort. Attention to full breath also helps oxygenate the brain and decrease stress, which means mental clarity that will allow you to focus on your workout.
2. A Chance to Ready Your Body for Action.
Once better breathing is established, meditation can involve taking a head-to-toe inventory to increase awareness and bridge the mind/body gap. This gives you the chance pre-workout to understand and acknowledge where you might be tight or experiencing pain. You will have a few moments to release tension in tight muscles and clarify which body parts might need extra care during your impending workout.
3. Time to Set Intentions.
Some of the best athletes past and present have used meditation to hone their competitive edge- Arthur Ashe, LeBron James, Misty May-Trainor, Derek Jeter and Michael Jordan to name a few. Not only does deep breathing decrease performance and game-related anxiety by reducing stress hormones, but the stillness and awareness components of meditation also allow athletes to focus and set positive intentions. Also, pre-workout meditation can culminate with “visualization.” Many athletes- from gymnasts to ball players- run through their game plans or routines in their minds before they step foot on the field or floor. Coaches extol the importance of mental rehearsals to enhance physical performance.
Ready to get your pre-workout OM on? The nice thing is that you can meditate virtually anywhere. Take a moment in your car before entering the gym. Meditate in the corner of the free weight room. Sit on a mat, light incense and meditate at home. Or, if you want guidance, try this 6 minute pre-workout meditation video offered by Yoga Journal.
It’s simple. It’s free. You’ve got much to gain and nothing to lose- except the distractions that have been holding you back!.
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