This time of year, everybody thinks about getting into shape. Whether you'll be hitting the gym for the first time in years or just continuing your hard work, most people want to make this the most fit yet.
What we don't typically take into consideration is how our minds are integral to the fitness of our bodies. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean you can just think of pushups and end up with Terry Crew's arms. But your brain has a lot to do with getting the fitness results you're looking for. Here's some tips about training your mind to help train your body.
First of all, meditation can help you lose your gut. No, seriously. This isn't just some magical thinking stuff, there is scientific reasoning behind it. By meditating, or even just closing your eyes, taking in deep breaths, and finding relaxation, your cortisol levels decrease. Cortisol is a hormone linked with stress and retaining fat, especially around the belly. As your cortisol levels stay low, you can lose midsection fat much easier. Of course your diet and exercise need to stay in line, but keeping stress down makes a big difference in the belly.
Secondly, set goals or intentions for your day. Start your morning with some calm breathing while you think about your goals for the day. They don't have to be huge or complicated, just whatever you feel like you'd like to accomplish. So, if you're struggling with eating, you can set an intention of making healthy choices all day.
By setting a daily goal, you're more likely to follow through and achieve your long term goals. Plus, you get the nice feeling of achieving a goal every day, which makes you want to continue your winning streak even more.
Staying away from stress and making goals is helpful for all areas of your life, but greatly increase you physical strength and stamina.
If these meditative mindfulness exercises seem a little strange to you, it's really simple. Mostly, it's giving yourself just a few minutes a day to find quiet, breathe deeply, and let your body release it's unnecessary tension. You don't have to worry about mantras or yoga positions, you just have to breathe and think about what you'd like for the day. You'll find that just five minutes of this in the morning will reduce your stress and make you more productive.
So, just like you workout your muscles, give your brain a little exercise, too. Keeping your mind strong keeps your body strong. You can't get any more fit than that.