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2 Ways Meditation Can Increase Your Workout Results

You probably know the health benefits of physical exercise:

  • The release of endorphins in your brain
  • The decreased risk of chronic diseases
  • Longevity
  • Overall physical health

...the list is almost endless.

There are an equal amount of ways you can aide your physical performance–think pre-workout, protein shakes, meal plans, etc.

But, there is one thing your routine may be missing that is limiting your results: meditation.

 

What exactly is meditation?

Meditation has many forms and practices, but they all boil down to one idea, and that is to clear your mind through focused breathing.

The neurological effects of meditation have been documented for a long time, but the ways meditation can increase physical results in your exercise routine is a relatively new idea (within the last couple of decades).

How it works: Oxygen & Exercise

Your body is constantly bringing in oxygen and transferring it to your muscles through your blood.

Here’s how this process provides you with energy:

  1. Your muscles signal to your brain that you need more oxygen as you exercise.
  2. Your breathing increases and your heart rate increases, pumping the oxygen to the muscles at a faster rate (1).

1. Meditation improves muscle performance

This is common knowledge, but what does it have to do with meditation?

Because focused breathing is a key element to meditation, practicing meditation before a workout

  • Saturates your muscles with clean oxygen
  • Helps you expel any toxins (carbon dioxide) that would cause your oxygen levels to decrease more rapidly (2).
  • Your stamina and muscle energy increase, allowing your muscles to perform at a higher level during your workout.

The same study shows that long-term practice of meditation leads to a new, higher baseline of oxygenation in your muscles; which means, your muscular and cardiovascular performance will continue to increase the longer you incorporate meditation into your pre-workout routine.

2. Meditation speeds up workout recovery.

During your workout, your body uses oxygen to burn energy until its oxygen supply cannot keep up with the energy demand. Your breath and heart rates have limits to how high they can rise.

When you produce more energy than you have oxygen for, your muscles tap into other energy reserves.

After a workout, your body is depleted of myoglobin, glycogen, and ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) because those things are the various reserves and fuels your muscles tap into once your oxygen levels get low.

Meditate to replenish oxygen

Post-workout recovery allows your body to replenish these reserves, but it cannot replenish these reserves without a regular supply of good oxygen. Enter meditation!

After a strenuous workout, your breath is typically short and fast-paced which limits the amount of oxygen you are intaking and increases the amount of carbon dioxide you are producing. This is where meditation can accelerate your post-workout recovery.

Meditate to lower your heart rate

Meditation after a workout will lower your heart rate and increase the efficiency of your oxygen circulation (3).

Because meditation hinges on focused breathing, a post-workout meditation will have similar effects as a pre-workout meditation: your muscles will be saturated with clean oxygen.

The only difference is, instead of providing you energy to burn in a workout, a post-workout meditation will help expel toxins and replenish your reserves at an accelerated rate, giving your muscles the nutrients they need to recover.

A short and sweet meditation routine:

  1. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Sit straight-backed in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Rest your hands on your knees or the armrests of the chair and close your eyes.
  3. Inhale deeply through your nose for 3 seconds.
  4. Exhale deeply through your nose for 3 seconds.
  5. Repeat the 3-second breath pattern throughout the 3-5 minutes.
  6. Focus on expanding your diaphragm when inhaling and pushing the carbon dioxide out when you are exhaling.
stopwatch and chair

If you have not already, take a shot and try incorporating meditation into your pre-workout or post-workout routine (or both!), and see the results for yourself.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MIKE ‘THE ARCHITECT’ KIM, D.O.

The Architect is the head doctor and the leader of The BrickHouse Research and Development Team. He has been in the supplement industry developing formulas for many companies before joining the BHN team, and consistently studies the latest ingredients to bring the best nutrition the world has to offer to our products. His number one goal is health for you, your family, and for your future generations. The Architect lives the life he preaches to everyone. When he's not developing nutritional products you can often find him enjoying a fresh round of golf or laying the smack down in the weight room.

 

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1 comments

  • Lucinda 04:27 PM

    Meditation really does make a difference .i do this at night before bed and sleep better . Better sleep and clear mind helps me to prioritize to work out and not let other things interfere.

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