Yesterday while I was running on the treadmill, there is was nothing too exciting on TV. When I run on a treadmill, a must for me is my iPhone with my favorite blood-pumping tunes playing semi-loudly in my head and ideally a television to help change the scenery as I literally go nowhere during my mileage goal of the day.
But yesterday I missed out with the visuals. So instead I changed my tunes to a mix of the Jimmy Buffet and the Beach Boys. I closed my eyes, submerged myself into the lyrics and melodies – transporting my mind to a memory of running on the beach in Hunington Beach California. All of a sudden, I was running across the bridge over the Pacific Coast Highway, linking the Hyatt Regency to the serene and tranquil beach. I then continued my run on the paved path along the sand with the sun and ocean to my left and people all about biking, sunning and just enjoying the beautiful weather.
I was no longer on a treadmill in a gym on a gloomy overcast day in Pennsylvania. Instead, I was in a place that just spikes one’s adrenaline due to sheer setting. I felt even more energized and happier with my run. I was in the zone. And the plotted mileage flew by.
This is not the first time I transported myself while exercising. I often meditate while running outside and especially while swimming laps indoors. Many meditate with yoga, but when I’m doing yoga I’m focusing on getting the pose just right. Most prefer to meditate where it’s quiet as it helps with the transporting. For me, music adds to the feeling and I can arrive quicker. Other popular mediation exercises include walking, cycling and working out on an elliptical.
Meditation helps more than the ticking away of the clock, getting through a monotonous exercise, or powering through a difficult regimen. It lessens stress and anxiety, helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and can provide more energy while releasing the feel good endorphins. Meditation also benefits those suffering from eating disorders, allergies, and depression as well as chronic health conditions, such as pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and AIDS. It can help with resistance and channeling for those trying to kick a drug addiction in addition those changing their diets to lose unwanted weight.
Having a strong body and a strong mind is a powerful combination. One fights off weakness, illnesses and injuries while the other wards off worry, despair, stress and poor health. Both the American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health recommend meditation and for at least 15 to 20 minutes a day. This may be challenging at first, so at least try for 5 minutes and build for there.
So make the time to meditate. Make yourself immune all the way around.
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.