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.
Tell yourself it’s going to be awesome
Psyching yourself out thinking how much this is going to suck or how you’d rather be doing anything else just creates more barriers for you. Practicing mindfulness can help you check those thoughts, and then switch them around to more supportive ones.
One Yale Medical School professor (and Headspace meditation app fan) puts it like this: “When we go to put our shoes for a run, the mind may say, ‘It’s cold, it’s raining, this is going to suck, and I can’t do it.’ Mindfulness training helps us to recognize these are just thoughts dancing through our head. So, they become less ‘sticky’ and we’re less likely to flop back down on the sofa or watch TV.”
Before you set off, notice your thoughts, and if they don’t help you, take them with a grain of salt and know that thinking something more positive, like “this is going to be totally easy,” or “I got this,” is just as easy to think, and a lot more helpful. Make it your mantra throughout the workout.