To feel fitter in the new year while improving overall health, mood and well-being, a combination of mindfulness training and exercise is particularly effective.
A new study involving experts from the University of Bath analyzed how the combination of physical activity and mindfulness training affects mental health and general well-being and what mechanisms play a role. The results are published in the journal “Mental Health and Physical Activity”.
More exercise in the new year
Many people resolve to exercise more in the new year. However, the initial motivation often quickly fades and it is difficult to maintain the level of exercise over a longer period of time. The combination of exercise and mindfulness training could offer a solution here.
The researchers explain that mindfulness describes the ability to be completely present in the present moment and to perceive everything without making judgments. Mindfulness can be trained through special exercises, which has significant benefits for mental and physical health.
Physical activity and mindfulness have both been proven to have various psychological benefits, which are significantly enhanced when combined, the researchers emphasize.
Advantages of the combination
The current evaluation of previous research has shown that mindfulness training can initially improve motivation for physical activity. It helps to start exercising and overcome the pain, discomfort or feelings of failure when exercising.
“Mindfulness is an approach that can help us develop the psychological strength we need to move and be in harmony with our bodies, as well as make exercise more interesting and recognize its benefits,” explains study author Masha Remskar in a press release.
This may be due to the fact that increased mindfulness motivates people to rethink their own lifestyle and makes it easier to accept their own shortcomings, which supports the development of healthy habits.
Less stress and anxiety
Overall, the combination of mindfulness training and exercise reduces stress and anxiety very effectively and at the same time improves well-being and quality of life, the researchers report. Mindfulness training has enormous potential to increase the positive effects of exercise.
Based on the research results, the team has already developed and published an audio course that is intended to help train mindfulness. The researchers plan to publish a second guide later this year aimed at maintaining the exercise habit. (as)