It’s said that there’s nothing like a good run around the block to work off the day’s steam and stress. But the next time you do so, don’t just lace up and take off without a thought. Instead, try running meditation, considered the ‘zen’ of running.
What it is
Mindfulness has been talked about a lot of late – with meditative eating, working and walking, becoming a huge trend. And meditative running too, is about a heightened awareness of the self (different sensations) and of the surrounding, as you run. As you concentrate and focus on your workout, you slip into a relaxed zone and also become more alert and attentive to how your body is responding to itThe general idea is that mediation needs one to be silent or still and away from the crowd. But this is not true. It does not require a specific environment. It is based on the notion that as long as you can meditate as long as you are in control of your conscious mind. “We often tend to get lost in our thoughts and worries when doing anything on our own as the mind travels constantly. But, with this form of meditation we are harnessing it back to the present and re-focusing,” states fitness expert Ankit Karnal.
A key catalyst for depression is a being unable to stop oneself from slipping into negative thoughts and gloom. Meditation has shown to help override that. It prevents the mind from wandering and brings back focus and positivity. “This is a very good way to beat stress and feel better. As you gain mindfulness, you also gain clarity and start to feel more positive,” says life coach Niti Shah.
STEPS TO ACHIEVE IT
Study yourself: At the start, ascertain how you are feeling. Are you anxious? Do you also have any physical pains? If so, recognise this as the faster you so do so, the quicker you will respond to it. At the end of your run ask yourself how much better you are now feeling.
Breathe right: Before taking off, take deep breaths. And when you start to run, maintain a steady breathing pattern — inhale though the nose and exhale from the mouth. Now, start to sync your running step with your diaphragmatic breathing.
Focus the mind: During the run, if the day’s worries start to creep into your mind, ask yourself why you are
running. Be aware of the surrounding — the fresh air, people and time of day and think of how it might benefit you. Accept the response the body is giving you to escape the stress.
Maintain the rhythm: Be mindful of how you are putting one step before another, of how your feet are hitting the ground and how you are moving ahead. Observe the rhythm and fall into it. You will soon also feel the tightness in the muscles disappear.Studies show that a moderate amount of running can add years to your life, even if it’s only for 15 minutes each day.
It can effectively help one lose weight.n It increases the sleep quotient. A survey reported that adding just 10 minutes of physical activity a day, helped people sleep better.
Running beats fatigue, too. Regular exercise actually perks up energy levels and increases overall strength in the long run.
It also boosts heart health. Roughly 40 minutes of moderate exercise thrice a week helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
It might even reduce cancer risk. There’s strong evidence that physically- active people have lower risks of colon and breast cancer.
You’ll increase bone health. Any exercise such as running can build strong and healthy bones, toughen the joints and slow down bone loss.
5 things to tell yourself as you run
It’s said that positive mantras and affirmations can work wonders to remove mental stress, any physical tension and pain. Here are a few of them…- I love myself completely. (Tell yourself this as you begin your run each day).
– Running can give me good health.
– I feel grateful. (Saying this will make you feel positive).
– As I run, I feel light on the feet.
– I am going to feel stronger and more relaxed.
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