Make the most of mindful meditation with fitness expert Sophie Mei Lan

Sophie's latest workout and wellbeing column...
Sophie Mei Lan.Sophie Mei Lan.
Sophie Mei Lan.

As we rush through life busy being busy, our minds and bodies are so acutely focused on the past or future, rarely do we take notice of the present moment.

From neglecting our minds and bodies internally and externally to not appreciating our loved ones.

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Mindfulness is the buzzword used by many wellbeing practitioners which means the practice of intentionally being aware in the ‘now’ and without judgement - just being.

I know how daunting it can be at first, as I live my life like a HIIT class, I like short and quick goals and to switch from task to task at a fast pace. It’s as if I am in a race with myself.

But then before I know it my mind and body can feel crippled with stress and anxiety.

What is Mindfulness?

Attempting the practice of mindful meditation can be so important for us all and can have profound benefits for our overall health, not to mention reducing stress, improving sleep and our physical fitness because we are more engaged in the exercises we are doing as well as feeling more connected with our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

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It allows us to train more efficiently and to feel more within our body than acting against it.

We too often see mindful meditation as something for our minds alone, a practice for those ‘with time on their hands’ and it slips off the priority list.

But by being focused on our sensations, we can actually save ourselves time by reducing our feelings of overwhelm and being more productive in all aspects of life, not just at the gym.

I am a big believer with any practice or mind and body exercise that ‘no one size fits all’ and I always say that ‘anything is better than nothing’ when it comes to ‘working out’ our minds and bodies.

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The last thing I want is you to become overwhelmed by mindfulness meditation as I am someone who also shudders at the reality of needing to ‘go slower.’

How to practice Mindfulness...

The good news is there are many ways to be more mindful and to start practising mindfulness meditation.

You can either set a specific time or ‘break’ for still meditation such as 10 minutes to start with or you can incorporate it into your daily routines such as eating mindfully.

The key principles are to take deep breaths, take notice of your senses and every time your attention wanders, bring it back to your senses such as your breath.

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Whether you decide to allot time to sit or lie to meditate or you just eat, drink, exercise and, walk more mindfully.

All these small steps can have a great impact on your mind and body fitness.

Did you know?

“Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” – The World Health Organisation.

Life Hack

Scrap the diet and eat more mindfully.

If you’re a chocolate lover try chocolate meditation! It’s the mindfulness practice of eating chocolate slowly, whilst deep breathing and noticing how it tastes, your senses as you consume it and how it feels as you swallow it and digest it.

Mind Challenge

Do something to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Workout One:

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Warm up - hand walkouts x5, lunge to reach x 5 each side, high knees x 20 seconds - repeat for two rounds.

Workout- close hand push ups, wide squats, 3 Russian twists, 4 frog pumps, 5 reverse crunches.

Perform each exercise for 40 seconds. Move from one to the next then rest 30 seconds at the end of each circuit. Repeat 3 times

Workout Two:

Warm up - groiners x5 each side, squat to reach x10, high knees / heel flicks x20 seconds - repeat for two rounds.

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Workout - dips, forward lunges, hip bridges, 4 shoulder taps, 5 plank climbers.

Perform each exercise for 40 seconds. Move from one to the next then rest 30 seconds at the end of each circuit.

Follow Sophie on social media via @greenhealthpt and @mamameiblog