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Meditation, Exercise, and Brain Health: What You Should Know

At first look, meditation and exercise appear to have similar advantages. Both can improve mood, alleviate depression and anxiety, and create a calm and balanced mental state. However, keep in mind that neither exercise nor meditation can be substituted for one another. Although they differ in terms of the benefits they might bring, they are equally crucial for overall well-being.

Both mindfulness and exercise have been shown to have significant mental health advantages. Meditation is essential in developing a positive mindset, while physical activity can accomplish the same result.  Now, what would you pick to accommodate your busy schedule? 

That’s a challenging question to answer. It begs the question of what the best road to mental health is. Is it meditation or working out?

The Value of Including Exercise and Meditation in Your Routine

Meditation, we think, is a weapon for mental health, while exercise is for physical fitness. Our physical and mental well-being, on the other hand, are closely connected. Meditation benefits the body in the same way that exercises benefit the mind. When you combine the two, your mind-body wellness will improve even more.


Meditation and exercise help boost oxygen and blood flow to the brain and stimulate neurogenesis, which is the method of forming new brain cells. Each improves the brain by enhancing focus and attention while lowering stress and depression. Meditating and exercising together aid you to have a night of better sleep, age slower, and keep your intellect for a more extended period. Since the two functions have distinct effects on the brain, it is ideal for undertaking both. One is not a substitute for the other. That being said, you may be asking whether you should meditate after or just before a workout. It is up to you when you meditate and work out; the outcomes may vary.

Exercising Before Meditation

If you’re feeling restless, doing your workout before your meditation session may help the body relax, leading to a more mild seated exercise. This is why meditating in savasana during the final moment of your yoga truly works. While meditating after doing your workout has its own set of advantages. The stress hormone cortisol may be released as a result of vigorous exercise, and the sympathetic nervous system is activated. Doing meditation after a workout promotes faster recovery by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, removing stress hormones, and restoring the body to a standard, calm condition.


Practice Meditation Before Exercising

This practice (Meditation prior to workout) may enhance one’s performance and focus. Meditation is frequently used by elite athletes to reduce anxieties before a competition. If you guide your thoughts toward a condition of body and breath awareness before participating in the movement, you are more likely to take this awareness into activity.

Studies have revealed that meditating before exercise may be more beneficial than alone in reducing the symptoms of depression. Meditating and exercising help to lessen ruminative thinking, though in different ways. The combination of the two is incredibly potent.

Exercising and Meditating

Some sports, such as archery, necessitate meditative-like attention. Long-distance aerobic activity, including running, can create a meditative state of mind through repetitive movement. Is it feasible, however, to meditate while exercising? You have complete control over the decision. The Buddha never required that meditation be done while sitting. For example, walking allows us to meditate.  Mindfulness is better during any activity, whether dishwashing or hitting the gym. Mindfulness during exercise increases physical awareness, decreases injury, and improves performance.

When you go for a walk or a jog, pay attention to how much time you have spent in the present time, and be mindful of your body and breath. You’ll undoubtedly notice that times in ‘the zone’ are disrupted by moments of distraction. Likewise, while meditation while exercising is a worthwhile activity, each practice on its own provides a profound, life-changing outcome. 


Final Words

Reading this far only means that you’re interested in meditating and its outcome: lasting joy and well-being. You’ve landed at the exact place. Everyone can benefit from meditation to improve their mental and emotional well-being. Serious meditation methods enhance our inner ability for joy and mindfulness, and effective practice necessitates concise and progressive guidelines. 

Practicing a style of meditation that is suited to your goals is also an excellent approach to improving the quality of your life, even though you only have a few minutes to do it daily. 

Because stress can negatively influence physical and mental health, you might want to consider enrolling in mindfulness workshops, as this might also be an excellent choice for you. Mindfulness can help relieve stress and make you feel better by practicing detachment, focus, and self-compassion. Mindfulness practice also teaches people to notice and deal with stress signs before it’s too late.

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