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Meditation is an incredibly popular form of wellness management. It’s a safe, simple, cheap, and portable way to stay healthy and happy. And it can serve as an excellent supplementary practise to our regular exercise routines.
As a matter of fact, there are many ways in which meditation can be beneficial to our health and wellbeing. Let’s take a look at a few of them to see why meditation should be a component in every exercise regime.
Meditation helps manage stress and anxiety
It’s now widely believed that meditation can help to alleviate certain symptoms of anxiety and depression. And various studies have concluded that meditation certainly does, at the very least, promote reductions in stress levels.
And with many meditators reporting feeing calmer and more emotionally balanced after long periods of regular meditation, it’s easy to see why these beliefs are so common.
Another study, which followed up with volunteers three years after they undertook an eight-week meditation course, found that most of the participants had not only continued to meditate regularly, but had experienced a long-term decrease in anxiety levels.
Couple this with regular exercise, which is also known to be a powerful stress-reducer, and you have a powerful cocktail for lowering stress and boosting mood.
It improves sleep
Whether you live an active lifestyle or not, getting enough sleep is crucial. And with insomnia now being such a huge problem in the UK, finding ways to promote a healthy night’s sleep is a very worthwhile pursuit.
Luckily, meditation may be an answer. In one study it was found that participants who practised meditation fell asleep faster (and stayed asleep longer) than participants who didn’t meditate. The study went on to summarise that mindfulness meditation could be a tool used in the treatment of insomnia.
So a bit of exercise, followed by some meditation, might just have you sleeping better than ever!
Meditation may lower blood pressure
Another interesting potential benefit of regular meditation is that it could help to decrease blood pressure. High blood pressure can, in the long run, put a lot of strain on the heart, causing it to function improperly. And whilst there are many forms of exercise that can help to lower blood pressure, meditation could offer a low-impact, low-energy solution suitable for just about anyone.
It’s believed that blood pressure decreases during meditation sessions. Not only that, but those who meditate regularly may experience a decrease in blood pressure over much longer periods of time.
It could also aid weight loss
According to some, mindfulness has been shown to promote healthy eating habits, which in turn can help to change negative food-related thought patterns. And though this won’t lead to any overnight weightless, it can really help in the long run when dropping a few pounds is your goal.
It’s also believed that mindfulness meditation can help reduce emotional and stress-related eating by making us more aware of our thoughts and emotions. This can be of huge benefit when it comes to recognising and diminishing the negative and guilt-oriented thought patterns that can scupper the most sincere attempts at losing weight.
Meditation can improve self-image
Meditation can increase self-esteem, confidence, and self-compassion. Which can drastically improve the way we perceive ourselves and our bodies.
By being kinder to ourselves and becoming more accepting of how we look, we stand a better chance of remaining motivated to exercise regardless of whether or not it brings on a physical transformation.
It may seem far away from being an exercise-related benefit, but the reality is that for many people body image plays a huge role in why they workout. So it makes sense that if meditation can be of benefit to our self-image, it can also be of benefit to our exercise regimes.