You probably have heard about the health benefits of cardiovascular disease as well as the importance of meditation, but did you know you can enhance your results by doing them together?
The Benefits of Meditation for Running
Experts say that for optimal physical condition we should be nurturing the mind at the same time that we look after the body. In essence, you become more conscious of what is happening in the moment by focusing on the senses and experiences you are going through at that point in time.
We can do this through observing the way it feels to run as we notice what is going on around us. We pay more attention to the sounds we hear, and we feel the different sensations the body is going through.
Integrating meditation and running is believed to help develop more strength and vitality. Writing about his new book, Sakyong Mipham says:
If we train only the body and ignore the mind, the body is getting in shape while the mind is being neglected. We are not relating with mental stress and worry. Conversely, if we focus only on the mind, then the body is neglected, and we feel the ill effects of our stagnant physical demeanor.
Of course, the benefits of physical exercise have never really been disputed; they have been well documented and widely accepted because they can be seen. But meditation is less accepted in the Western world and it’s something that a lot of people struggle to manage when they are sitting still, let alone running. Let’s take a look at some of the steps and techniques required to be able to meditate and run for optimal health and well being.
Mindfulness Is A Virtue
That means you have to leave your iPod at home for your morning jog. You need to focus your mind on the present moment and observe yourself in a non-judgmental way. It requires that you live in the moment without being too pre-occupied with the past or future. As far as running goes being mindful allows you to engage with how your body is doing on a physical level. And what about dealing with distractions? Runners World has the following advice to offer:
When your mind becomes distracted by other thoughts, you acknowledge it and return your focus to your breath. “Through meditation we learn to relax and yet be keenly aware of our moment-to-moment sensations, thoughts, and the world around us,” Pratt says.
Appreciation To Find Joy
Running is extremely beneficial for endurance training, fitness and weight loss. As far as physical activities go it is the easiest and one of the least expensive ways to stay fit. But anyone who has done it for any length of time knows that it can get boring. Meditation while running can help take you back to the joy you experienced when you first started doing it. Appreciation of what you are doing introduces perspective. It takes your mind off the physical exertion or the
The Importance Of Regular Challenges
To be able to develop synergy between the body and mind, we need to set challenges. The primary challenge of meditation is to be able to stay relaxed with the present and way things are.
Purpose is what drives and energizes us. Purpose is an anchor for the mind. We need purpose to stay mentally focused and to fuel the body with energy. To stay motivated you could change your purpose for running every day. This change also allows you to have fun and enjoy an activity that is beneficial, for extended periods of time.