Yes! that’s right. Your exercise physiologist is promoting a way to improve health without moving. You can, of course move while you are doing this – so doing worry – I am not changing my passion for movement and health.
Check out this blog post at The Connection. If you have not seen the film yet, The Connection is a documentary of on the research behind the health benefits of the mind-body connection. It is SO well done, with a great balance between real life stories and science. And the science is overwhelmingly impressive and motivating!
The blog highlights some of that amazing science. For example, practicing simple breathing exercises daily can change how your genetics effects your health (yes, your genes are not your destiny) and actually slow down the aging process!
If you are looking to maximize the health benefits of all of your weight loss efforts, take advantage of the latest explosion of research in this field. The great news is that mindful breathing is easily incorporated into an exercise routine and into daily life.
Mindfulness is simply paying attention in the moment without judgement. The breath is an ideal focus of attention in the moment, because it is always there. Breathing has the unique quality of being both voluntary and involuntary. It happens when we are not thinking (thankfully) and we can also be aware of breathing and consciously slow it down and expand our breath. When we take a full and relaxed breath, it actually triggers the nervous system to relax the body and the mind.
Practicing this mindful breathing while stretching is a great combo.
Or just pausing in the middle of the day to practice breathing exercises.
If you have been on this weight loss journey for any length of time, you know that stress, anxiety, and depression are BIG road blocks to success.
Turns out that switching from a stress response in the mind and body, to the relaxation response not only reduces mental stress, it also signals the body to heal and be well. Practicing the relaxation response is another tool for managing health and pain issues.
So if you don’t feel like moving, but want to improve your health – give mindful breathing a try.
My hope is that you do both, move and breathe mindfully, to get all the health benefits you can.