Mindful Running – 7 Tips To Add Attention To Your Running
Running has its own set of benefits and many of us have made this our daily habit. While there is a lot we can achieve through physical activity, we are actually missing out some benefits when we get into the semi-conscious state of mind.
It is normal for our mind to wander during running. But to make most out of the performance is to get out of unnecessary thoughts by allowing your mind and body to work in conjunction. This can only be possible through mindfulness exercising. Let’s know more about this.
How is mindfulness beneficial for runners?
Mindfulness by the term is the skill or practice of keeping your mind in the present moment. This means you are not wandering in past or future, instead focusing on the things you are doing at present. In other words, it also means you are in control of your body and thoughts.
In terms of running, being mindful is the art of paying attention to the thought process and physical sensations during running and how well they are connected to each other. Mindfulness helps focus on body movements and thoughts at the same time. For instance, instead of centering your focus on ‘need to email when I get back to the office’, how many kms you have covered or what is making your body hurt, you should concentrate more on where your body is currently.
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Moreover, stress is the major hurdle which causes your mind to wander here and there. So, if you are running, you are already one step ahead of keeping yourself stress-free.
Tips to add mindfulness to our running
It might seem a difficult task to be mindful while running, but if you have learned the skills, you can reap the advantages of mindfulness not only in running but also in other facets of your life. So, how to do that? Here are some tips to stay at present during running.
1. Deep Breathing before running
The best way to relax and focus during the running phase is to perform deep belly breathing before the run. The best way to do this is to put one hand on chest and the other on the belly. Now breathe in through your nose and out the air through your mouth. This simple exercise can be done before warm-up exercise.
2. Go outside for running
Many people want to practice mindfulness in the comfort of their homes and it’s quite easy. But we should give more opportunities to our senses for a better connection to nature. Trails are one of the best options for mindful running.
3. Say no to headphones
While it’s true that listening to music is a beneficial tool in terms of mindfulness, it won’t work while running. You must set your focus to the surroundings and your thoughts instead of listening music.
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4. Concentrate on the strike of your foot
Focus and listen to the rhythm when your foot strikes the ground. It can be very relaxing to the senses. For better results, run lightly by taking quick steps.
5. Notice your body and breathing rate
While running you will feel your heart is pouncing and the rhythm of your feet striking your mind. If you still feel that your mind is wandering, turn your focus on breathing. Also concentrate how you are feeling your muscles, arms, and legs. Check if you are unnecessarily tensing parts of your body.
6. Keep appropriate posture
Correct posture is one of the proper ways to enhance running efficiency and prevent odds of getting injured. If you are not mindful of your form, you will feel your running is less effortful.
7. Read your mind
Keep noticing how your mind is responding to your action i.e. running. Are you feeling pleasure sparing some time for yourself or are you still thinking those long to-do list? Is your mind playing some recent conversation with your boss? Check all these things.
Besides the above tips, focus on specific things while running such as architectural details or colors of flowers or leaves or look out for things which you are not familiar with. Runners for a long time have used running as one of the finest tools to relax, as a way to de-clutter mind and skipping the strains of daily life. So, start implementing these tips in your life and see the change.