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Mindfulness and Exercise Performance

Weird: Thinking of This Body Part Helps You Burn More Calories During a Workout

Losing weight requires commitment of body and mind — in fact, just thinking yourself thin can be an important component of actually seeing pounds drop from the scale. A new study shows how mindfulness can help you perform better during a workout too.

In the study, the brainwaves of athletes were tracked before and after several weeks of mindfulness training that included imagining how their limbs and organs felt in a moment, breathing through straws, and sticking their hands in ice water. Compared to before, scientists found that their brains' responses to stress tests were more controlled and proactive, which the researchers say could translate into better performance during a race or other beneficial physical results. An easy way to practice mindfulness at home? Study author Dr. Lori Haase told the New York Times that just thinking about your feet during a workout can cause you to practice mindfulness during your next workout. It's no secret that your mental state plays an important part in your physical performance, so the next time you feel your mind wandering during exercise, move your focus to your toes to reengage your mind and have a better workout overall.

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