Mental health and exercise have had a relationship for time immemorial. The connection between the two has been proved time and again, and the studies that prove this stack quite high. The same way that peanut butter goes with jelly- Mental health and exercise go seamlessly well.
However, something that works even better is meditation and exercise. Combining half an hour of meditation followed by half an hour of exercise can immensely boost the effects of both and multiply the benefits. You are less likely to be overwhelmed and anxious, and more likely to be in the present, staying focused on the purpose on hand.
Better Together Than Alone
Exercise and meditation work well together because of their synergically profound effects on the brain. These do two different jobs, but jobs that complement one another for the overall wellness of the user.
Exercise can help in the process of Neurogenesis. This is the development of new brain cells. The brain cells formed are done so in the hippocampus-the part of the brain that controls emotions, learning and memory. Exercise helps in increasing the blood flow to this part of the brain, which allows in more flow of oxygen. Not just that but benefits of exercise also includes boosting biochemicals that enhance mood and behavior; this makes you happy.
Meditation can effectively work with the parasympathetic nervous system of the human body. This is very much effective in calming down the central nervous system that comprises of the brain and the spine. The activation of the parasympathetic nervous system affects the prefrontal cortex-it is responsible for thought analysis, controlling emotions and judgment. There are numerous studies that point out to meditation having a positive impact in signaling the said cortex, and also an elevated ability to concentrate and focus better.
This essentially means that exercise helps in creating new brain cells; on the other hand, meditation helps in allowing the said brain cells to thrive and mature further. The effects of both working in unison are long-lasting and make a big difference in the way you perceive situations.
It is without doubt, that the human mind works better and more efficiently when it is calm and not under stress. Bringing this sense of calmness and peace helps in controlling one’s emotions better; after all, controlling the storm within you is the first step to controlling the storm outside you.
The Final Note: Working Hand-In-Hand
Employ meditation before work-outs and watch as you unlock a whole new spectrum of thought and mind-provoking ideas, which you wouldn’t have chanced across otherwise!