Advertising
Advertising

Why Meditation Is More Essential Than Ever

Why Meditation Is More Essential Than Ever

We are living in crazy times. In the midst of all this madness, there has never been a better moment than now for you to learn how meditation could help you put a bit of balance back into the world.

Meditation is a bit of a funny topic. Everybody knows what it is, in theory, but in reality they may not really understand it all that well at all. The great thing is, that despite what some people might want to tell you, it really is the easiest thing in the world to bring into your life.

Here is a quick look at five reasons why you should start thinking about working meditation into your routine, today.

1. It’s Free

When I was in New York recently, I was very surprised just how heavily meditation was being “sold” on the subway. I don’t have any further information about the advertisements I saw all along the L train stops, but it did strike me as probably being some form of manipulation of what meditation really is. It also further reinforced my belief that a lot of people will take up this kind of commodified form of meditation because they are just not really sure about what meditation is.

Advertising

In my personal opinion one of the main beauties of meditation is that it is so simple and involves nothing more than a quiet space and a little bit of your time. If you have never done it before, there are lots of free guides at the click of a switch on a Google search, or right here on You Tube.

The meditation time itself, for me, should always be free and one that is 100% personal. If you are interested in learning about some of the methods of how best to get into meditation techniques, I’d suggest buying a book on the subject rather than paying for a led course.

2. Meditation Is Not Religion

One big myth that needs debunking is the one that meditation is some form of religion. Meditation is all about you, not any way of praying to Buddha or any other form of God. If you are religious then, meditation should in no way run into conflict with any existing practices.

Whereas religion most often looks towards an external deity, meditation is all about taking some time out and learning to feel better within. If your religion already does that for you anyway, that’s brilliant. It also doesn’t mean that meditation might not be helpful for you in other ways, too.

Advertising

Meditation is of course very often tied in with spirituality, but it need not be. I believe this is one of the things that scares some people away from it. Meditation can be spiritual, if that is what you are looking for. Meditation can also not involve any use of that word at all. Meditation should at the start be about nothing more than finding some peace and equilibrium in your life.

3. Meditation Can Improve Your Health

A lot of people don’t realise just how damaging stress is to our health. Whether this comes from work or personal situations, it is something that everybody reading this will have to some degree in their lives.

Meditation is the ideal way to take ownership of the stress that is so harmful to our day to day existence. By simply sitting in silence for a little while each day, you will be taking a proactive step to combating stress. Not only will you be taking a huge step to combating stress by meditating, but you will also be creating a brand new dynamic in your life. You are taking back control.

Meditation in and of itself is a brilliant way for you to start improving your health, but in my opinion it is also a gateway to a more mindful way of living. By introducing meditation into my life, I then started to think more about the food I ate, how to eradicate some of my bad habits, and even about the things I read each day. I also started to implement a daily exercise programme into my routine that complements my meditation.

Advertising

4. Meditation Can Help You At Work

As mentioned above, stress is a big killer, and the majority of it in your life probably comes from work. In some ways this is almost certainly true. When looked at another way, it could also be said that the real stress you feel there is being magnified by the over importance that you attach to it.

Meditation allows you to take a step back from the stress in your work life and put things into perspective. In terms of your job, this can mean that meditation allows you to approach previously stressful situations or people in a brand new, much more positive way. Meditation will not turn you into a Zen master overnight, but it can help you listen to others more, feel more empathy, and feel in control.

Think for a second about how positive an impact introducing some of the above qualities into your workplace could be. Give it a try and you’ll start to see how meditation could potentially revolutionise your 9-to-5.

5. Meditation Makes You Happy

Ok, this may be a little bit of an exaggeration. Meditation cannot guarantee to make you happy and fall back into unconditional love with this mad world. It will, however, almost certainly make you, by some degrees, a happier person. I know this is true as I benefit from it myself everyday, but you don’t just have to take my word for it.

Advertising

Meditation has been proven to improve the behaviour of children in previously troubled schools, and it has also been used successfully in prisons too. Meditation does this by allowing you to reconnect with yourself. It puts you back in touch with your emotions and it can literally bring a smile to your face for no reason at all.

In our very unstable world, which seems a particularly angry and conflicted painful place at the moment, there is no better way to start making things better outside by starting to feel more positive and happy within your own skin.

More by this author

5 Simple Ways To Survive Your Tax Returns Super Bowl LI: 5 Reasons To Watch attractive 5 Misconceptions About What Is Attractive To Women The Top 5 Happiest Countries In The World Top 5: The World’s Best Cities To Move To

Trending in Health

111 Benefits of Almond Milk You Didn’t Know About 210 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know 3Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning 4Sleeping Too Much but Still Exhausted? Why You Can’t Sleep Well At Night 5Your Body on Caffeine Addiction: 70 Cups of Coffee in 7 Days

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

Advertising

When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

    Advertising

      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

          Advertising

          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

              Advertising

                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

                  Read Next