Are you working out, working hard, and still not getting “there?”
Here’s a hint you’ve probably heard about—maybe even dipped a toe in—but haven’t really embraced: Mindfulness. Unless you just got back from an extended vacation on Mars, you’ve surely heard mindfulness offers serious benefits. But you might not think you have time to add yet ANOTHER thing to your endless To-Do List. Maybe you suspect it’s all phooey woo-woo stuff. Or maybe, sitting still and “doing nothing” is against your belief system…
I know EXACTLY how you feel! After all, in a culture saturated with mottos like, “No pain, no gain,” and “Nothing worth having comes easy,” the suggestion that quieting our minds with no specific goal just seems crazy! I’d agree, except I’ve now seen the mounting stats, the science, and the qualitative evidence all pointing the opposite direction (oh, and I’ve experienced the improvements myself, but why take my word for it?)
Let’s start with science. You are familiar with the benefits of working out your muscles…well, meditation and mindfulness are like just like bicep reps, but for your brain. Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, The Mayo Clinic, etc., have all (independently) loaded us up with TONS of credible research (and pictures!) proving that meditation physically changes our brains! Not only does our grey matter get thicker and more “wrinkley” (good things for our brains, ironically), but our neural networks get stronger, experiencing an anti-ageing effect. In fact, science demonstrates that 50-year-old meditators have brains that look a lot like 25-year-old brains! (Remember that time before we used to say, “What is the name of that show/restaurant/place/etc.?” or “Where are my glasses?” Yep, that’s what I’m talking about!)
As mentioned in the previous myth, trying to lose belly fat by just doing abs is completely ineffective and focusing on just sit ups is even more ineffective. Our core is our foundation and the center of our body thus most exercises we do requires our core to be strong in order for the exercises to be beneficial. Now, that’s not to say sit ups, planks, leg raises and other core-isolating exercises aren’t beneficial. They are, but in order to lose those inches around the waist we must pair those exercises with other challenging movements. Compound exercises are exercises that incorporate more than one body part. These movements are typically much more taxing than isolated exercises and have proven to be very effective in shedding that hard-to-lose belly fat.
Oh, and the documented improvements are wide-ranging. Here are just a few upgrades meditation has been shown to induce:
- Help dieters lose weight (partly through improved impulse control)
- Upgrade our personal “operating system” (improve “executive functioning,” memory, mood)
- Be as effective as pharmaceuticals in treating depression
- Help lower blood pressure
- Create better sleep patterns
- Lower inflammation caused by stress (studies show 80% of us experience stress on a regular basis!)
- Increase attention span
- Decrease physical signs of ageing (markers like finger length in arthritic adults, etc.)
- Lower the experience of pain (both physical and mental)
- Increase perception of “time affluence” (you feel like you have more time!)
- So much more!
What does it take to get the benefits? Research (again!!) points to just 10 minutes a day, which seems like a minimal investment, given the return. If you’d love to experience some of these life-improving changes, join us for the upcoming “Work Out your Brain” workshop at BodyBusiness Fitness Club!
Saturday, April 20
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Sign Up Now!
Reserve your spot for the upcoming Work Out Your Brain workshop.
About the Instructor: Kelly Corbet
Kelly Corbet is a long-time meditator, author and self-proclaimed loud laugher. She is a lifelong student having studied everything from Chinese to Aerospace Engineering. She has run her own Environmental Consulting Company and written two books. She has degrees from UT and Harvard yet she firmly believes that Love is the most real thing about us and the only thing that matters.