Here are some simple guidelines for turning any fitness activity into moving meditation.
- Warm up by doing the activity at a slow-moderate pace for 5 minutes (walk slowly etc.).
- Increase your pace and get into your Aerobic Training Zone.
- Pay attention to your breathing (inhalation and exhalation) for a couple of minutes.
- Count the number of steps (if walking or cross-country skiing), strokes (if swimming or kayaking) pedal rotations (if biking) it takes to fully inflate your lungs.
- Count the number of steps (if walking or cross-country skiing), strokes (if swimming or kayaking) pedal rotations (if biking) it takes to fully deflate your lungs.
- Focus your self-talk on counting your steps, strokes, etc. as you breathe in and out.
- Whenever your mind strays to the future (to plan) or the past (to rehash), say to yourself, “There goes my mind again taking me out of the present moment,” and refocus on your counting.
- Notice (not judge, evaluate or worry about) the sensations in your arms, legs, and other body parts as you engage in your activity.
- Notice (not judge, evaluate or worry about) the sights, sounds, smells, and climate changes in your environment as you exercise.
- Keep going for at least 20 minutes.
- Cool down for 5 minutes by doing the activity at a slow-moderate pace (walk slowly etc.).
Your Aerobic Training Zone is between 65% – 85% of your Maximum Attainable Heart Rate (MHR). To find this zone, subtract your age from 220 and multiply that number by .65 and .85. The resulting numbers give you the low and high end of your training zone. As longs as you keep your heart rate in that zone for 20 minutes, you will get an aerobic workout.
For more information on using physical activity to get rid of your stress check out my “Release Your Stress” course on my website: www.drrichblonna.com/courses/courses-for-everyone/the-5-steps-to-conquering-your-stress-home-study-program-release-course/.