You may have read or heard that more and more people are adding meditation as part of their health and fitness routines. TIME magazine reports that 10 million Americans practice some form of regular meditation – that’s up from only 5 million a decade ago. But just what is meditation and how can you benefit from it?
According to Shirley Archer, JD, MA and IDEA’s mind-body spokesman, meditation is an approach to training your mind. People with trained minds, or those who regularly practice meditation, tend to react impulsively to stressors and respond to that stress in a balanced manner.
Meditation also benefits your nervous system. Studies show that meditation can benefit the nervous system in the short term. These benefits include:
-Lower blood pressure
-Lower heart rate
-Lower respiratory rate
-Improved feeling of well-being
Although there are many methods of meditation, one of the simplest places to start is with being mindful of how you breathe.
1. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Breathe naturally, don’t try to control it.
4. Concentrate on your breath and how your body reacts and moves with each inhale and exhale. Observe how your chest, shoulders,
rib cage and abdomen move with each breath. If your mind wanders, bring it back to concentrating on your breath.
5. Begin with a 2 – 3 minute session and gradually work your way up to longer periods of time.
The trainers at Infinite Fitness want to help you bring your mind and body into balance. If you’d like more information on incorporating meditation into your regular routine, or would like help creating a fitness routine, call or stop by the gym.