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Boost Mindfulness Through Exercise

Exercise is something you might not immediately associate with mindfulness, particularly in ways to help you be more mindful. But the mind and body are intimately connected. What affects one affects the other. This makes exercise a great way to improve mindfulness.


Mindful movement and mindful activities are common variations on the more common mindful meditation practice people usually start with. The purpose of these activities is to learn to be mindful while doing them. Mindful activities can include all forms of exercise.


But this isn’t about mindful exercise. This is just about how exercise and physical activity, in general, can improve your ability to be mindful.


You’ve certainly heard all about the good things exercise does for your body, from helping you get in shape to lowering your risk for all kinds of diseases and even early death. But did you know it has positive effects on your mind as well?


It does!

In addition to lowering the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety, exercising helps remove the mental signs of stress and anxiety too. It slows down your brain and stops it from racing from one thought to another. Feeling overwhelmed? Exercise will help clear out that feeling.


This makes your mind calmer as your body gets healthier. It improves your ability to concentrate, focus and make decisions. What does that improve? Your ability to be mindful.


You might not see how this can benefit you if you’re not into working out. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go to the gym every day to improve your mindfulness practice, even though doing so wouldn’t hurt. And while cardiovascular exercise might help more than some other forms, it’s not the only type of exercise that will give you these benefits.


In fact, you don’t even need to set foot in a gym to get the mindfulness benefits of exercise. Nor do you need to start doing physically intense sports such as mountain biking. What do you need to do?


  • Take a walk,
  • Do yoga,
  • Lift weights,
  • Take a tai chi class,
  • Go swimming.


All of these are examples of simple, easy, low-intensity “exercises” that will give you the same mental and some of the physical benefits that come with intense workouts. A 15- or 20-minute walk three days a week is enough to improve your mindfulness abilities. The same applies to these other activities. Try them and see how your mindfulness practice improves! Let us know in the comments.

Boost Mindfulness Through Exercise