What Is Mindful Exercise?

July 07, 2019

No matter what your age or physical condition, one of the best things you can do for your health is to spend time each day doing “mindful” exercise.

I know for a fact, that this type of activity puts the breaks on ageing, diminishes stress and adds an extra dimension to your overall wellbeing like nothing else can – which I believe is particularly vital as we age.

So what exactly is mindful exercise I hear you say?

Well for someone who spent his teens, 20’s and 30’s basically pushing his body to the brink, I can tell you it’s not intense, physical exercise – although for me, even at 46 years old, this still has its place.

What I’m talking about are simple daily routines, that not only challenge you physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.

These are activities that:

  • sharpen your mental focus,
  • bring consciousness to your breath,
  • clear your cluttered mind,
  • stimulate feelings of gratitude and
  • elevate your mood…

…all vitally important if you want to live a long, harmonious and healthy life.

Great examples of mindful exercise are meditation, yoga and intentional (conscious) breathing.
For me, I choose yoga (in a hot room), because no matter how many classes I’ve done before, each class is a new experience and challenges me mentally, physically and spiritually – differently.

Though not as physical, meditation and intentional breathing can also take you to a place of mindful expansion, because they stimulate mental detoxificationconscious awareness and emotional healing when practised consistently.

My wish for you is that you’ll include some form of mindful exercise into your daily routine – particularly for at least 15 minutes first thing in the morning if you can!

Find yourself a quiet space outside in the open air, ideally amongst nature (e.g. in a park amongst trees or on the beach).

Go for a light walk, do some easy stretching whilst being conscious of your breath with every move. Then, find a nice spot to simply practise stillness. Take in 4 or 5 deep, expansive, diaphragmatic breaths and just settle in for 5-10 minutes.

There’s a reason why monks and long-lived cultures have practised meditation for centuries…and we should do the same.

It’s all about finding the method that’s right for you and choosing a level that you can stay consistent with.

Make a start and I think the long term rewards will surprise you.