Running is a great way to shape up while escaping to the outdoors to clear the mind and ease stress and anxiety.
Mindful meditation also provides an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of life – providing an essential moment of calm for the mind, body and soul.
For many of us though, finding the time to do these things can be tricky, and there are some who feel no matter how much they run or meditate, they cannot completely ‘let go’ and embrace the benefits.
So to make the most of both activities, we have a meditative guide to running that will be more enjoyable, healthier and beneficial.
What is mindful running?
Originating thousands of years ago, mindful running focuses on emptying the mind and controlling breathing. Cultures from all around the world would start this practice while walking, and then when they had learned to tame their minds would begin running.
How can I practise mindful running?
There are three key methods to help you run with more ease both mindfully and physically:
- Run in sync with your breath – Moving with your breath allows you to connect with your body and generate a healthy running rhythm. Inhaling deeply provides more oxygen to the vital organs, calms the nervous system and reduces muscle tension.
- Watch your stride – Gaining awareness of your running and breathing means you will be in more control of your body so will be less likely to huff and puff under strain. Aim to lighten and shorten your stride by really listening to your footsteps and keep your arms high and controlled.
- Practise 10-count breathing – Focussing on your breathing helps to shut out other thoughts. While running, count 10 inhalations and exhalations and then repeat. If a stray thought pops into your mind, drop it instantly then go right back to counting.
These simple strategies will help to rewire your mind, relieve stress and enhance your well-being. Mindful running is a transformative experience that could make a huge difference to your life.