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Mindfulness and training: putting them together improves mental health

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Mindfulness and training: putting them together improves mental health

This combination could have a beneficial effect against anxiety and depression, but not only. Science explains all the reasons

That regular physical activity and mindfulness meditation bring benefits to the body and mind is nothing new. Exercise helps keep your body fit, lifts your mood, relieves pain, prevents injuries and boosts brain health. On the other hand, mindfulness helps improve concentration and attention, strengthens memory, regulates emotions and helps manage stress and mood swings. And further confirmation also comes from a recent study, according to which the mix between physical exercise and mindfulness practices further amplifies the benefits compared to adopting just one of these approaches.

I study

Conducted by Masha Remskar, a behavioral scientist at the University of Bath (UK), in collaboration with the Medito Foundation, the study highlights how the integration of physical exercise and mindfulness practices not only promotes physical health but also contributes to mental health. Among the positive effects of the “mix” are the prevention of anxiety and depression, the reduction of stress, better control of emotions and the increase in resilience and motivation. And physical activity and mindfulness support each other; according to researchers, mindful meditation can give us the push to exercise, because it helps to free us from negative thoughts and allows us to stay in the present, avoiding sports performance anxiety.

mindfulness and PHYSICAL EXERCISE

Being “mindful” may take some practice, but it doesn’t have to be something challenging to add to an already full schedule of tasks. There are simple conscious breathing exercises that can be performed at any time of the day (even at work) when we need a little help. Even daily activities, such as brushing your teeth and sipping a drink, can become mindfulness moments. The secret is to pay attention to the sensory details of every experience, even the most banal, to connect with the physical and emotional sensations we feel in that moment.

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body scan

When it comes to exercise, a body scan before going to the gym or starting a fitness class, for example, can help us focus on the body and enter the zone of awareness. Experts suggest starting with a few minutes of breathing, observing the flow of air coming in and out, and then proceed to mentally “scan” each part of the body to perceive the various sensations. It’s not complicated, you just need to adopt the attitude of a neutral and curious observer, rather than a critical one. In fact, mindfulness body scanning helps us become aware of all our sensations, write them down mentally and then gently move on to the next part of the body to activate the mind-muscle connection. A practice that in recent years has even won over many unsuspected bodybuilders.

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