04 OctWhy Meditate?

One of the strategies I am recommending to people to help them manage their health and wellness is mediation. This may surprise some people as I am an exercise physiologist and they would be expecting me to be talking to them only about how much and what type of exercise they should be doing.

More frequently when I am having conversations with clients there is a sense of overwhelm and busyness to their lives. They feel they are already stretched and push to their limit and don’t know where they are going to fit exercise in. In this situation I recommend some strategies to help them manage their busy brain and create a sense of calm and focus.

 As an evidence-based practitioner I use practices that have been researched and proven by good quality evidence. There is definitely a very strong research basis behind incorporating some mediation in your weekly routine. Mediation can help reduce depression, anxiety, reduce pain, decrease weight and reduce blood pressure to name a few of its benefits. Mediation can take on many forms and there is no right or wrong way to do this.

A simple way to start is to focus on your breathing. Using deep abdominal breathing will help your body to relax by using your diaphragm. Your diaphragm signals to your body to switch to your relaxation nervous system (Parasympathetic Nervous System) instead of your flight and flight nervous system (Sympathetic Nervous System). Our ‘busy’ lifestyles are constantly signaling to our body via hormones(Adrenaline and cortisol) that we are in danger, hence our fight and flight nervous system is working too hard. I told you I there was a science behind why I am recommending mediation!

Keep it simple and don’t over think it. 2 minutes of simple deep breathing can be a starting point. There are also a range of Apps that you can use to help you is that’s your thing. Headspace and Calm are two I recommend.

We can train our brain just like we can train our muscles. The more we train our brain to relax and focus the stronger it will become to do this.

Vicky Graham- Accredited Exercise Physiologist