We all have our reasons for exercising. Some do it for health reasons, others do it for weight loss. Other people exercise to get stronger and then you have people who exercise to get better at their sport. But in my own personal experience and opinion, there is one reason that is overlooked by many and that is to relieve stress.
Doing Pilates today, reminded me about this. With Pilates, with each move you breathe in and on the exertion of the movement, you breathe out. It is slow movements with lots of breathing, like when you meditate. Meditation is where you focus on one thought while breathing in and out, to become calm and be in a stable state. Pilates make you concentrate on the movement at hand along with deep breathing, without realizing that you are actually training those muscles.
You can apply this to any exercise. When you do a strength training program, concentrate on the movement at hand and breathing in and out during each repetition. When you cycle or run, concentrate on the activity at hand along with your breathing. Breathing correctly during exercise brings enough oxygen to your muscles, which is like fuel. The more you breathe correctly during the activity, the more energy you will have to perform.
Lastly, when you concentrate on the exercise along with your breathing, there is nothing else that can enter your mind in that moment. If you do this, you will realize after you have done your session, that you haven’t thought about anything other than what you have been doing and you will feel refreshed. We all tend to start a though process of some kind during exercise. Strategizing what your next move will be in your business. Worrying about your children or what is going on at home or work. Thinking about that meeting later on or tomorrow. Don’t!
Start today by releasing that stress in your life, by concentrating on your exercise along with breathing even if you work with a professional. When they instruct you, concentrate on doing each movement correct along with your breathing. You will see, after the session, that tense feeling will be replaced by calm.