What if a simple 5-minute ritual before your workouts could maximize your efforts and increase your results, would you give it a try?
Meditation studios and breath-work circles are popping up everywhere these days. You would be hard-pressed to find a top-level executive who doesn’t practice meditation as a part of their daily routines. The reason so many top performers incorporate meditation and mindful breathing into their daily rituals, simply put, is because it works. Meditation in all forms has a tremendous impact from reducing stress to balancing hormones and has been directly tied to increased focus and clarity of thought.
If a meditation practice can do all that in other areas of life, why not shift those benefits onto your workout routines to help with fitness goals?
It’s no surprise that athletes and CEOs have long used visualization to improve performance before significant events and meetings. Visualization helps to prepare you to perform at your peak and to tackle big goals. There is a real science to support this.
Flex Your RAS
Located deep inside your brain is a network of neurons called the reticular activating system (RAS). The primary function of RAS is to ensure the brain only has to deal with relevant information. A visualization practice trains your RAS to recognize the things visualized as things that are important and deems them a primary objective on which to focus.
As you can imagine, we are flooded with tons of information throughout the day, and this is increasing every day with our uber-connected life (social media, email, texts, etc.), often causing our RAS to be overburdened. By flexing your RAS muscles via visualization before a workout, you can maximize your efforts and results.
So if you’re having trouble reaching a specific goal, feel like you’re stuck in a training plateau, or you want to amplify your efforts, try this 5-minute meditation. This meditation before your workouts will ensure your efforts turn into results, think mindful work vs. mindless work. It is time to supercharge your next sweat session. Before your next workout, try this:
Begin in a seated position. Sit up tall and close your eyes. Begin first by noticing how your body feels and taking note of your breath. No judgments, just notice.
Next, begin to breathe in deeply, filling your lungs with air and exhaling out completely.
After a few cycles of full breaths in and out, begin to cycle the breath.
- Inhale for a 4-count
- Pause for a 2-count
- Exhale for 7-count
- Pause for a 2-count
Cycle the breath this way for 10 rounds. Then allow the breath to return to normal.
As you breathe at a regular cadence, take a moment to visualize the workout you have before you. Visualize in great detail the things you will be doing. The muscles you will be using. The effort you will be putting in. The results you are working to achieve. Imagine the strongest, best version of yourself you can conjure up. Take note of how this makes you feel physically and mentally. Let that feeling reach every corner of your body and memorize it.
When you feel you are ready, open your eyes and rock your workout! Give it a try and watch your workout goals materialize faster.