Need Fitness Motivation? Try Mindfulness

Make exercise more effective -- and fun -- by practicing mindful walking, running, swimming, tai chi, yoga and more (13 Photos)

Maura Rhodes on Jan 11, 2012 at 10:45AM

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Need Fitness Motivation? Try Mindfulness

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Dig Deep to Relieve Boredom

Exercise can sometimes feel like a chore. Okay, for lots of us, exercise always feels like a chore. We’re motivated for a few days, but eventually the treadmill gets tedious, the cozy bed trumps the early morning walk and the pool is no longer inviting. We summon our willpower but come up wanting. But maybe willpower isn’t the problem. Maybe we just need a different perspective on exercise. That’s where mindfulness comes in. Rooted in Buddhism, this concept of being in the moment and engaging all five senses is becoming a fitness byword. “Mindfulness means paying attention with intent, interest and even fascination,” says Arnie Kozak, Ph.D., a mindfulness-based psychologist and author of Wild Chickens and Petty Tyrants: 108 Metaphors for Mindfulness, “and doing so without judgment.” In other words, you aren’t thinking, “I hate this,” “This is too hard,” or, “Is this going to help me lose weight?” “That type of thinking,” Kozak says, “eats up energy and is distracting.” Advocates say mindfulness can help you perform better, get better results and enjoy exercise more.

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