If you hate exercising, chances are, you really hate it in winter. You know it’ll make your day better, improve your mood and sleep and everything else those affect (pretty much everything), but doing it sucks until it’s over and you can get on with your life. Right?
Well, here’s a tip that might help make it better: Research from the YMCA found that people who practice mindfulness during exercise (focusing their full attention on the present moment–the feeling of their body moving, their breath, awareness of their surroundings), are actually more likely to want to exercise again afterward. A mindful workout = greater self-satisfaction and a greater chance you’ll want to do it again.
During these dreary months, as you begrudgingly pull on your yoga slacks, make sure you check your mindset and put these mindfulness tricks to work.
Set an intention
This is a tip from the mindfulness experts at the Chopra Centre: Before you start your workout, take a moment to form a clear intention for what you’re about to do. (You can say it, or think it.) Bringing your intention–your greater “why,” or desired end-goal for the workout–to the forefront of your focus makes it more likely that you’ll actually achieve it.
They say “where attention goes, energy flows,” so by clearly setting your intention, you lay the groundwork for its realization. You still have to actually do the work, but focusing on your ideal positive outcome before starting, rather than just push yourself through the motions and try and get it over with, will keep you so much more motivated the whole time.