Mindful Living with Exercise | Family

Mindfulness, as it pertains to exercise, can be described as being attune to your body, sensations and energy while being aware of thoughts and emotions as they develop, without judging anything or anyone, including ourselves.

WHY BE MINDFUL?: The purpose is to use our awareness of our body and thoughts to have enjoyable, safe and beneficial exercise. Regular exercise, or 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week, has long been touted as a key factor of healthy living, especially to decrease risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. So, practicing mindfulness could help eliminate issues or thoughts that often act as barriers to a healthier life.

HOW TO BE MINDFUL: Take a moment to scan your body and then be flexible with the goals of that workout. Do you have aches or pains? Do you feel great? Remember, exercise should not be self-torture. Exercise is self-care. You are doing something great for yourself by simply moving, but a high-impact activity or lifting heavy weight might not be the best option for you right now. Make the best choice for you after listening to your body.

Many of us have jobs where sitting is very common, and our spines, shoulders and hips have learned to curve and tilt because we are not actively using our muscles to align and keep them straight. We need proper posture during exercise and everyday activities to prevent injury. As with any task, we become distracted or our mind might wander during exercise. This happens all the time to everyone, but part of mindfulness is about being present in the moment. So, without scolding yourself, return your attention to your movement or your breathing pattern, or both. This could help prevent injury and make exercise more a time of mindfulness and focus.

For more information, contact me, Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension Agent for Family and Community Health at 903-590-2980 or email at [email protected] Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County. Stay well and stay safe.

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