Mindful living is a journey we all have to take one step at a time, with every turn and every circumstance challenging us to respond in a more positive manner. If we are to be honest with ourselves though, sometimes (or maybe oftentimes) we just want to let loose and give ourselves a “break”.
What I have noticed is that the days when I feel like giving the mindful living a break and instead give people a piece of my mind, are also usually the days when I feel really tired and crappy. No matter how I try to zen out, I still get just a bit (or a lot) cranky and are easily irritated when I’m feeling ill. Of course, I know that I’m not alone in this.
As humans living in a body that experiences both pleasurable and uncomfortable, even painful, sensations, it is inevitable for our mood to be affected by our physical health. This is why keeping healthy and fit is important to anyone who’s on the quest for greater mindfulness. If you wish to better control your thoughts and emotions, you’d try to be as fit as possible to help you stick to a better frame of mind.
To help you in this regard, here are some practical fitness tips that should fit right into your mindful living lifestyle:
1. Sit less – Believe it or not the mere act of sitting for prolonged periods contributes to your poor health. Studies show that those who sit for prolonged periods increase their risk for heart disease, diabetes and death. It may be unbelievable, but something as seemingly harmless as sitting can actually kill you! So while sitting cross-legged while meditating is a good idea, meditating while walking is even better, being good for your mind, body and soul all at the same time. In fact, it is recommended that you stand and walk around for 2 minutes every 20 minutes if you want to improve your glucose meditation.
2. Take time to exercise – While sitting less and walking around every 20 minutes is a great idea, you need to get more exercise than that if you wish to get really fit. Choose any activity that will give you a good cardio workout and try to incorporate that into your weekly schedule, preferably for 2 to 3 times a week. If you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle though, be realistic in your goals. You might want to join a fitness center to help you get started in your fitness journey. The great thing about fitness centers is that they usually offer a good variety of classes, so that you’ll find one that you can enjoy. You can even take yoga classes! They also often offer one-on-one sessions with fitness trainers so you can get a program tailor-fit to your needs. And most important, with someone pushing you and the money you pay at the back of your mind, you might be more motivated to actually concentrate on exercising.
3. Learn breathing techniques – Breathing is obviously important since you’ll die if you stop. Though it’s not something anyone has to worry about even without learning some breathing techniques, the health benefits that come with proper breathing cannot be stressed enough. In fact, each breathing technique you learn comes with its own set of health benefits. For example, diaphragmatic breathing is supposed to help regulate your bowel movement, while alternate nostril breathing reduces insomia.
4. Stay hydrated – Bring a bottle of water around with you to keep hydrated all day. As we all know, thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so staying well hydrated should also help you with your diet. Aside from this, it will help keep headaches at bay since there’s nothing like dehydration to get those migraines started.
Adam Johnson is a professional blogger that shares tips and advice on fitness and nutrition. He writes for Fitness 19, a leading fitness center with locations nationwide.