Mindfulness in Jump-starting Exercise? Try It…


Commencing a vigorous exercise schedule at the beginning of the year may sometimes not be a very good idea, given the cold wintry days and low motivational levels associated with the weather. Although, your New Year resolution was undertaken to ensure that you get out of bed, no matter what, and hit the gym, in most cases it might appear to be far difficult to put it into practice.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A new study reveals that in order to find pleasure and motivation in sticking to an exercise schedule, it can help to pay more attention to the experience of exercise in order to bring even the most reluctant of exercisers the joy in exercising.

For a number of years, health experts would question why some individuals continue to stick to exercise while others start with a bang and end with a whimper. A number of explanations were involved, ranging from an individual’s genetic dispositions, personality traits, day-to-day realities such as work timings and accessibility to bath showers and the like. However, in several studies that looked into the behaviour of exercising, one of the most authentic indicators of whether individuals would continue to stick to their exercise regime was that they found their exercises gratifying; they benefitted pleasure from being active.

The only issue with that conclusion was that it did not explain what exactly made the exercise so gratifying to certain individuals and not very satisfying to others. Merely suggesting lukewarm and spiritless exercisers to begin revelling in their exercise schedules were highly doubtful that the sought-after effect would be achieved. To understand this, the ‘Journal of Health Psychology’published a new study conducted by researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and other academic establishments. These scientists decided to intimately analyse the psychological justifications of exercise gratification, wanting to ascertain what exercise was enjoyable to some and what felt like slavery to others. The role of attention/alertness and mindfulness was particularly looked into as a major factor in this study.

Most of us are aware of the term ‘mindfulness’ that is closely connected with areas of spirituality such as yoga and meditation, although in popular culture its definition can be subjective and liberal. Among psychological circles, especially in experimental psychology, mindfulness is strictly outlined as restrained attentiveness, which is a calculated consciousness of what is going on in the current time– this definition was established by the authors of the particular study.

Unsurprisingly, individuals who reported that they were the most satisfied with exercise were the ones who exercised the most and stuck to an exercise schedule, and vice versa. Mindfulness played a very conspicuous role in making the exercise far more satisfying, according to the information derived by the research report.

Based on the conclusions of the research, the data suggests that observing all aspects that comprise an exercise experience might help in making the workout more gratifying in addition to “being present”at the time of the exercise. This means that while being in the moment and alert during exercise can help in fully experiencing what the body is going through while helping the person to fully experience with mindfulness the different aspects of exercise.

Being mindful to exercise can help in alleviating the tolerance of things as they take place, enabling the individual to endure negative experiences and view them as less menacing, thus making exercise an enjoyable experience.

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Kiran Garg is a professional fitness writer, blogger, and editor based in Delhi, India. She has been writing for health, fitness, weight loss, beauty etc topics on dailyfitnessbuzz.com. She talks about the best ways and improvisations on health and fitness. She writes for many print and online sites, self-published a book of fitness, health stories, Her aim is to make aware people for their fitness.


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