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3 Workouts That Involve Meditation

3 Workouts That Involve Meditation

Let’s face it, workouts are tough. We love the feeling afterwards, but struggle during the actual process. Our brain seems to always be looking for the finish line and therefore we become acutely aware of the strain being put on our bodies.

That feeling has caused me to have a love/hate relationship with exercise for many years. I dreaded having to workout and the mental and physical strain that came along with it, but I loved being healthy and the “high” I would get when it was over with. That was until my friend Anna taught me to change the way I thought about exercise. She helped me incorporate meditation in my workout.

I know, it sounds strange, but it has helped me to be conscious of my body while I’m exercising and truly enjoy my workout. Meditation can be applied to most workouts, but I’m only going to highlight the workouts that I have applied it to.

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Running

Growing up I was a pretty active kid. I participated in just about every sport, and naturally running was something that I did a lot of. I always viewed it as a type of punishment, for instance if the team performed poorly in a game we would be punished by having to run ladders. This framed my view of running as something that wasn’t supposed to be enjoyable. The notion of “runner’s high” was something that largely eluded me, but by changing the way I thought about running I was able to enjoy it.

To incorporate meditation into your running you need the brain to be present in the moment. This means being aware of what the body is feeling, but not needing to immediately address whatever pain it may be feeling and continuing on your run.

Secondly running incorporates rhythmic breathing patterns, be aware of this and try to breathe deep from the abdominal. Lastly, vary the locations of your run. This helps create the sense of a new and exciting experience.

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Swimming

Swimming, with the possible exception of yoga, could be the exercise that is most conducive to a meditative state. Everything from the color blue promoting a sense of calm and depth, to the way the ebb and flow of an ocean tide simulates deep, relaxed breathing. Water has always helped humans achieve a meditative state and it turns out that our favorite water based exercise does too.

If you think about it, swimming mimics many of qualities of basic meditation. Rhythmic and deep breathing helps put the mind at ease and enables it to be aware of the bodies muscle motions. Immersion in water helps the body naturally relax and the strokes used during swimming allow the skeletal muscles to loosen up, which allows the brain to be aware and present to the exercise at hand.

You may saying, yeah that sounds good, but the water makes me cold and therefore unable to relax. For those more cold blooded individuals, picking the right wetsuit will keep your body temperature up.

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Yoga

Clearly the most obvious choice for this list. Many of us think of yoga as a stretching class that is mainly practiced by women, but this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga does involve a lot of stretching, but it’s also an incredibly good exercise. Like the other exercises, yoga, especially when done in a class, promotes a sense of awareness of the body and what it is feeling while your muscles work to hold your body in position.

Simultaneously the deep and rhythmic breathing involved allows your mind to focus on maintaining your pose and receive the full benefit of the workout. If you really want to take your meditation to the next level you can do your yoga in the pool. The buoyancy of the water makes it more comfortable and has less impact on your body.

Working out is never going to be completely painless. There is always going to be challenges involved with exercising, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a painful experience. I’ve certainly changed the way I look at working out. Being present and aware of your body while focusing on your breathing and taking a positive approach into your workout can help you achieve a meditative state while working out!

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Featured photo credit: Morguefile via morguefile.com

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Published on May 3, 2019

8 Wonderful Weight Loss Tracker Apps: Achieve Your Fitness Goals Fast

8 Wonderful Weight Loss Tracker Apps: Achieve Your Fitness Goals Fast

Are you frustrated by why on earth you can’t lose any weight? Have you ever wondered if you don’t actually know how many calories you eat in a day?

How much exercise do you ACTUALLY get? Why does nothing seem to be working!?

If any of those questions sound familiar, then read on. Because I am about to show you some of the best tools you can use to pull yourself out of that rut!

If you can relate, I’ve been there too. In fact, if it helps your situation at all, I think most of us have at some point or another. Most people feel like, at some point or another, they reach a plateau. It’s that exasperating place that seems to keep us from moving forward (or is moving us slowly).

How can we break past this point? How can we start to see results and have the momentum to keep moving forward? The answer is simple:

To have a game-plan and know exactly what is going on inside your body.

Let me put it this way, in your business, do you go into work figuring you’ll find something to do once you get there? Probably not. You know exactly what needs to get done and you have a game-plan (a task sheet or to-do-list) to get you there. You might even have a few different “games” you play with yourself to make your work more enjoyable or listen to a motivational speaker to make sure your morale is up.

The same goes for fitness. If you really want to excel at your fitness goal, then you need to have a game-plan for success. You need to know what will keep you motivated, how to simplify things, how to be more efficient at your goals, and even find what you enjoy the most.

If you’re blindly trying to chase your goals, then you probably feel about as hopeless as a carpenter with a butter-knife. So, it’s time to stock your toolbelt for success!

I am about to show you the top fitness apps that will be game-changers for you. From nutrition trackers to step counters, these apps are sure to set you on the fast track to your fitness goals.

Keep reading to find the apps which might just shoot you past your plateau and into the lifestyle you dream of.

1. MyFitnessPal

    When it comes to favorite fitness apps, this one takes the cake (The Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan cake that is).

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    MyFitnessPal is the best all around calorie counter that I have found on the market. This app is free, and has almost all the calorie counting resources available to you. Not only does it seamlessly estimate the daily calories needed to hit your goal, but it also gives you the methods to track it.

    Just enter the ingredients into each meal and it will add up how many calories you eat. Indulged in a burrito? No problem! Just scan the barcode and it will enter that in for you.

    Going a step beyond that, this app also tracks your macros (according to your own customized goals) and nutrients.

    While that all seems impressive enough, this app also tracks exercise calories and can sync to Fitbit, MapmyRun, and other apps to measure your exact energy ratio.

    If you want a one-stop map to success then this is it! This will not only help you develop a gameplan, but will also create a flexible plan to get you there.

    Get MyFitness Pal here!

    2. Fitbit

      I know you’ve already heard about this app before, and for good reason. Fitbit has been helping thousands step their way to health since it first came out.

      While investing in a Fitbit may not be cheap, I believe it to be well worth the investment.

      Fitbit will track your total amounts of steps each day. For those of you who are competitive, this is the perfect app to keep you moving throughout the day.

      This app can also sync with other fitness apps, like MyFitnessPal, to measure your exact energy expenditure each day. It’s a keeper for sure.

      Get Fitbit here!

      3. MapMyRun

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        This is another one for the competitive, beginner, or exercise enthusiast alike. MapMyRun measures the distance that you run and even tracks your route. And, you can sync your daily results with MyFitnessPal to keep track of your daily calorie burn.

        If you want to go at it with a friend, you can challenge them in competitions that are sure to keep you both moving!

        Once, my boyfriend (Now Husband) ran for 2 miles just before midnight to beat me in a competition that was ending the next day. Talk about motivation!

        MapMyRun is perfect for those who like to challenge themselves, love to be apart of a fitness community, or want a place for friends to hold them accountable to their goals.

        Get MapMyRun here!

        4. Zombies, Run!

          Are you having trouble pulling away from entertainment to go out and run? Then why not combine the two?

          ZombieRun is a fun app that is sure to get you moving if you are someone who is motivated by a good time. In fact, you might even have such a blast you will forget that you are exercising!

          This app takes you through a story-line makes you the hero. Each level will present a new challenge to help you progress and keep things exciting.

          And don’t even worry about your pre-workout. Imagining you are the hero in the story will be enough to keep your adrenaline pumping on it’s own.

          Just be sure not to move too slow or the “Zombs” (As we runners affectionately call them) might catch you!

          Get ZombiesRun here!

          5. Prepear

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            Are you tired of sitting down for hours and trying to strategize what to eat? This app helps cut this time in a quarter.

            Simply add online recipes into your weekly meal plan (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and it will organize all the ingredients you will need into a shopping list.

            With all your meal planning in one organized area, it will be easy to find which meal you plan to make for the day. This will keep your healthy recipes delicious. You will seriously never have to fret about meal planning again!

            Bye Bye paper shopping lists! And Bye-Bye fast food! You won’t be needing that anymore!

            Get Prepear here!

            6. Strava

              If walking is your health resolution, this one might be for you!

              Strava was actually sent to me by one of my clients for me to track his daily walking. This app is sure to get you into healthy habits that you enjoy. In fact, you might start losing weight before realizing that you’ve even been exercising.

              This app enables you to track your trails and mileage, take pictures, and invite friends to join. It is a keeper for beginners and hikers alike.

              Get Strava here!

              7. Aaptiv

                If you find yourself at the gym and not sure what to do, then this app might be for you.

                Aptive gives you workouts to do and instructs you how to do them.

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                While there’s nothing quite like the accountability of a personal trainer, Aptive is a great way to be guided through exercises without having to dish out tons of money.

                The online instructors will guide you through the movements and keep you focused on finishing the workout. This app is sure to make you a gym rat in no time!

                Get Aaptiv here!

                8. Freeletics

                  Here’s one for those of you always on the move! Freeletics is an incredible app designed for people who just don’t have the time (or motivation) to drive down to the gym.

                  Freeletics provides online workouts designed specifically from bodyweight. No equipment is needed!

                  You will be surprised at what a great workout you can get without any equipment.

                  That’s right, you work-travellers — Say goodbye to your excuses because this app is bringing the trainer to you!

                  Get Freeletics here!

                  The Bottom Line

                  These 8 apps are sure to revolutionize your fitness goals. Guesswork will no longer be a part of your fitness journey. These apps are like carrying professionals around in your pocket all day!

                  Get ready to be motivated, informed, and ready to start achieving your dreams! Good luck on your fitness journey!

                  Featured photo credit: Marion Michele via unsplash.com

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