By: Ray Alonzo
Living the mom life can be stressful and time-consuming. You may find that you have little time to stay physically fit. Life’s stresses and responsibilities may also feel overwhelming and some days you might just want to give up. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to alleviate these issues and relieve stress.
One of these ways is through mindful running. Mindful running is a great source of physical activity and a way for you to clear your mind and improve your mental health.
Mindful running benefits
There are a number of benefits to mindful running, both mental and physical. Of course, you could practice mindfulness and go for a run separately, but when combined these benefits are strengthened.
Mindful running has a number of mental health benefits. It can improve motivation, sharpen memory, and boost your mood. It has even been shown to improve creativity in some people.
Naturally, mindful running has its physical benefits as well. You’ll be burning calories while running, as well as getting your blood flowing and improving your heart health. As a mom, you know how difficult it can be to find time to exercise and lose weight. Going for a mindful run can be as long or short as you want it to be.
How to prepare for mindful running
Before starting your run, there are some steps you can take to best prepare yourself. If you don’t prepare before running, you won’t experience the same benefits as you would have otherwise. Getting into the right mindset for growth and exercise is essential for the best mindful running experience possible. Consider the following steps to help prepare yourself to have a mindful run.
- Get some running shoes
- For a comfortable and pleasurable running experience, being well-equipped with some good running shoes is essential.
- Make a plan
- Before you go out for your run, make a plan for yourself. What are you trying to accomplish on this run? How do you want to feel during it?
- Practice mindful breathing
- Before going out, practice controlling your breathing. Take deep, slow breaths and remember to control your exhaling.
- Choose a different route
- Picking a different route than you normally take can help keep your runs fresh. You don’t want this to end up being a stale experience that you try to avoid.
- Connect with your senses
- While on your run, make sure to take in everything that you’re experiencing. This means all of your senses! Sight, smell, hearing, touch and even taste!
Staying mindful on your run
While out on your run you’re likely to face a number of distractions that may take you out of your mindful state. Anything from other people to unpleasant weather could ruin your run if you allow it to. The tips listed below will help you stay mindful during your run, keeping you focused and in a healing mindset.
Start off slow – Going slow at first is important. You don’t want to overwork yourself, this is supposed to be a mindful experience of healing. If you’re not regulating yourself you’re doing no good.
Look to your feet – If you find yourself getting distracted, stay focused by looking at your feet. Focusing on your forward movement can keep you locked in on your run.
Take in the environment – Look at the environment around you while you’re running. What are you seeing? What are the smells you’re taking in?
Listen to your body – Use this run to learn more about your body. Listen to how it responds to the run, and if you feel any discomfort stop and figure out what caused it.
Pay attention to your breathing – Focus on your breathing and try to regulate it. You’ll be strengthening your mind’s connection with your body and staying in touch with yourself.
Don’t forget to reflect – A huge part of remaining in touch with yourself is reflecting after your run. What went right? What went wrong? How could you make the experience better for next time?
If you’re looking for more tips and information on mindful running, then this animated infographic from Adidas will give you what you’re looking for. Don’t forget to listen to your body and stay mindful!
Ray Alonzo is an avid writer from Phoenix. He focuses heavily on research to provide the most accurate information possible to readers.