For devoted and aspiring exercisers, here is some good news. Research suggests that those who intentionally focus on the feeling of moving and deliberately take in their surroundings enjoy exercise more. After tracking how much people exercised, how mindful they were while doing it, and how satisfied they were with their workouts overall, scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands suggest “mindfulness may amplify satisfaction, because one is satisfied when positive experiences with physical activity become prominent.” What that means for your daily routine is that being mindful can support your exercising habits, and vice versa.
What exactly does mindful exercise involve? You’re paying attention to your body: your muscles, pace, breathing, resistance, and tension. How does it feel to get out of your comfort zone and twist and stretch beyond your usual seated or standing positions? How do you feel emotionally? Are you energized and determined, or are you feeling depleted, maybe needing a minute to refresh? Listen to your needs, and push or protect yourself accordingly. Be mindful of your thoughts too. Do you have a drill sergeant in your head? Are you comparing yourself to the person doing yoga next to you, or do you bring a curious, kind attention to how your workout is going?
Source: How to Meditate through Exercise