February 10, 2009

Mindfully Exercise Right Through Stress


No matter what the challenges are that you are facing in your life, regular exercise moves you through stressful times with greater clarity, increased energy and a more positive outlook. And to benefit even more from exercise - get mindful.

Exercise can be a form of meditation. And if you aren’t familiar with meditation, read here for all of the benefits –there truly are so many!

So how can you meditate and get a great work out? Be mindful. Be conscious and in the moment.
Music is a great motivational tool but it can also be a distraction. Flipping through a magazine with music blaring in your ears on an elliptical will never compare to the afterglow of a workout when you approach exercise mindfully. So, instead, from time to time take off the headphones, put down the magazine and while you exercise, listen to your breath and feel your body move.


  • Listen to the sound and feeling of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Breathe in and imagine a white light spreading through you reaching all areas in your body.

  • Imagine your body glowing and focus on all of the tingling and sensations within you. Feel the connectedness, peace and health within your body.

  • Consciously feel the sensation of your muscles as they lengthen. Feel the strength and movement of your body and be grateful.
When we are going through difficult times, it is easy to react mindlessly to the pressure of a situation by complaining, blaming or criticizing, either ourselves or other people. We may have more aches and pains and our shoulders tighten in response to the stress.

Stress can bring feelings of hopelessness and despair and it is during these stressful times that we often quit our exercise routines, choosing to grab fast food and overindulging in things that eventually make us feel bad.

Finding time in our everyday lives to practice self-care is vitally important; especially when we are under stress. If we are to restore harmony in our lives, overcoming obstacles and pursue our potential, we must look after our minds and our bodies.

Mindful exercise helps keep your energy flowing cleanly through your body. By listening to our breath we are calming the mind’s chatter and allowing energy to flow through us as we are present in each moment. And by focusing and being grateful for our body’s strength and movement we gain a deeper appreciation of ourselves.

Armed with all of these positive elements of mindful exercise we are then able to approach the world from a place of clarity and calmness - a place where stress loses its power.
Wishing you the best today,
Kelly McIntyre M.Sc.

No comments: