Being mindful while exercising can actually give you a more effective workout. Dr Fadzil Hamzah, Senior Staff Registrar, Department of Sport and Exercise Medicine at Changi General Hospital (CGH), explains.
Whatever’s your workout – be it jogging, dancing, lifting weights – instead of simply working out to burn calories, being mindful during exercise helps to relieve stress and makes you feel good. It can even help you accomplish better results, while reducing the risk of training injuries.
Dr Fadzil Hamzah, Senior Staff Registrar from the
Department of Sport and Exercise Medicine at
Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the
SingHealth group, offers tips on how you can do so:
1. Have a purpose
Focus on something to work for and, therefore, something you can feel good about and accomplish right now.
For example, your purpose of exercising should not be to lose weight (as this does not happen immediately), but to finish your planned workout, strengthen specific muscles, work on a specific area of fitness, or to achieve a desired duration of workout and burn a specific amount of calories.
2. Reflect on your purpose
Remind yourself why you have made exercise a priority and how this workout will help you right now.
3. Start low, go slow
You have already set this time aside specifically for your workout, so give yourself permission to do it properly. Do not rush to complete your workout but take your time with each activity, each movement, particularly strength training exercises.
Focus on your form, think about your posture, your core, and the rest of your body, including the muscles you are targeting; focus on feeling them contract and relax as you perform your workout.
By doing this, you will achieve more optimal results from your exercise and prevent injuries.
4. Focus on breathing
If you are distracted during your exercise, close your eyes, and take a breath to bring yourself back to the moment.
Remember that you are exercising right now and that is all you must do. There is a time and place for everything else so you will only deal with them when it is time to do so.
5. Remember your workout
Remember all the good things about the workout and how good it feels when you are done.
Give yourself time to cool down and take time to stretch the muscles you worked.
Incorporate breathing exercises as part of your cool down. If you can, take a moment to lie down at the end of the workout for a final relaxation, your chance to really feel the effects of your hard work.
Check out other articles on exercise tips:
Which Burns More? Resistance Training or Aerobic Exercises?
How To Unlock Your Fat-Burning Zone
The 10-Minute Full Body Home Workout
Top Exercises for Lowering High Blood Pressure
Tips to Prevent Cramps When Jogging
Top Exercises for Seniors