Running is one of the best forms of exercise one could engage it. As a matter of fact, running can add years to one’s life. For most people, running is just another way to release steam or stretch the leg muscles. Some people, however, love the mindless nature of running, where all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. One way to run is to get out on the road without any form of distraction.
Mindful running is a vague term defined by Chevy Rough as “being mentally connected within your movement and not being distracted”. Although it is becoming quite popular, scientists are still trying to prove the many ways people can take advantage of it. There are a lot of benefits you can derive from running. Some of the benefits of running include reduction of stress levels, increase of self-esteem, and overall better health.
How to Go About Mindful Running
Mindful running, and mindful exercising in general, is far easier to talk about than it is to actually practice. Running without headphones and smartwatches could actually make you run faster and farther than you could have done normally. In order to perfect this practice and enjoy its benefits, here are a few tips on how to go about it:
- Allow gravity do the work. If you concentrate too much on the run, you may get stressed and might not be able to run like you should. The best way to run is allow gravity to do the work. In order to achieve this, you should learn to lean forward at the ankles, instead of the waist. This will help you to sort of fall into your run. But the moment gravity shoulders the workload, you will be able to relax while running.
- Be focused. Try as much as possible to find focus before you begin your run. Try as possible to focus on the run quieting your mind. Concentrate on the goal of your run as much as possible. It is actually more rejuvenating when your mind is focused on finishing your run.
- Breathe rhythmically. For your run to flow, you have to be able to give your run a rhythm. As a matter of fact, your breathing should match the cadence of your footsteps. For this to happen, it is highly recommended that you take three steps to inhale and two steps to exhale. It is important to free up your mind while running.
- Keep practicing until you perfect it. Anything can be perfected with practice. With a lot of time, patience, and practice, mindful reading can be perfected. At first, you may practice it for the first five or ten minutes of your run, instead of struggling to do so throughout the run.
- Watch your posture. Another thing to concentrate on while you are on the run is your posture. You will need to keep your body upright, expand your upper chest, keep your shoulders hanging, then keep moving your arms front and back. Maintaining this kind of posture will ensure you run more efficiently and relaxed. This posture can be perfectly mastered with much practice and then you will gradually learn to relieve your stress.
Why Is Everyone Talking About Mindful Running?
In simple terms, mindful running could mean meditating while you are on the move. While doing it, you can just immerse yourself in the experience of the moment without self-doubt. The term itself means a lot of things to a whole lot of people. Everyone is talking about mindfulness and different modules of it, including mindful running these days. This could be as a result of the fact that mindful running has a lot of known benefits for runners. Below are some of the reasons why everyone is talking about it:
- It energizes the body.
- You will be highly motivated.
- Stress hormones are reduced.
- It can help to elevate your mood.
- Mindful running still refreshes the mind.
- It also helps you run without having to judge yourself.
- The bones, muscles and ligaments are strengthened during mindful running.
- It helps you enjoy the simple things of life you often rush through.
- It frees you so you get to enjoy playfulness and adventure while running.
- After some time of mindful running, you begin to have more measured responses to things in other areas of your life.
Mindful running is basically about minimizing distractions, reconnecting with running in its entirety, training your brain, multi-tasking your meditation, enjoying the simpler things of life, and reaping a whole lot of benefits. Running, along with mindfulness, will help you in meeting your fitness goals. The main reason everyone is talking about this running practice is because it goes beyond improving your physical health, to improving your mental health. Conclusively, mindful running is the best way to run – you should try it.
About the author: Sofia Alves is an avid runner, conveyor of messages, sunshine addict. Guided by the belief that health is a choice, she recently started sharing her knowledge as a contributing writer at Jogging Addiction. In her free time, you can usually find her sharing stories with friends over a glass of dry wine and a plate of her favorite pesto spaghetti.