No, meditation isn’t just the new fad, in fact archeologists found evidence of meditation in wall art dating from around 5,000 to 3,500 BCE. The wall art included drawings of people in similar yoga poses to those we would recognise today. Meditation has been around for centuries, yet your average modern man is only just starting to give it airtime.
So, what do we know about meditation, it’s good for your mind right? Of course we all know that, but what some people might not know is the effects meditation can have on your body too. That’s why every athlete should consider meditation as a part of their regular training programme.
If you’re not sure where to get started there’s a lot of great material out there. And yes, for everyone with the most up to date technology (which, lets face it, is most of us), there is an app for it. Usually I wouldn’t promote technology and meditation in the same sentence but for those of us with hectic lives… it actually makes sense.
The app ‘Headspace’ is a self professed ‘personal trainer for the mind’, where you can switch off for a little as 10minutes a day. Find a quiet space and make sure you’re sitting comfortably. My top tip would be to try and meditate at the same time each day in order to forge a habit
Now you’re started, I guess your wondering, how does this help my workouts? Well, have a look at my Top 3 reasons to meditate…
1. Better Sleep
Studies show that meditating daily can help us to get a better nights sleep, and we all know that rest is a vital part to building muscle. The American Academy of sleep medicine found that meditation may be an effective in the treatment of insomnia, they not only noticed that patients who meditated were able to sleep more easily and for longer but that the quality of their sleep was much improved.
2. Improves concentration
Whether your a footballer, runner or weightlifter you know there’s nothing worse than losing your head in the middle of a game. Whether that’s worrying you won’t finish the lift or make the shot, or if you simply have other things on your mind. Meditation and the art of mindfulness help to improve focus and reduce anxiety in order to remove all distractions and shift your aim from personal performance to better technique.
3. Encourages a healthy lifestyle
When you meditate on a daily basis your mind and body are more drawn to healthy foods. Meditating helps you to become more aware of your thoughts and actions and this can directly link to the foods we eat – or even why we eat the foods we do. Emotional eating generally stems from stress, which meditation helps to suppress by lowering blood pressure.
Meditation can also improve ability to cope with pain, increase self awareness, better your cardiac health & possibly most importantly make you happier in and out of the gym.
So what’s your excuse – try the headspace app for 10 days and see if your workouts improve.
As always don’t forget to subscribe to my blog on the right and let me know if you have any experiences with meditation or headspace.