Slowing It Down: Practicing mindfulness for a healthy body and mind

TDB Fitness Newsletter 5/9/2021

Mindfulness refers to the practice of staying present in your body. This week’s newsletter explains how practicing mindfulness can transform your physical and mental health.

Tip of the week:

What is mindfulness?

In its simplest terms, “mindfulness” is the practice of staying present in your body, in your mind, and in the moment. The common ways we practice mindfulness in our society today come from ancient Buddhist and Hindu custom. Starting in India, yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness practices have been essential aspects of religious and nonreligious life for thousands of years.

Although yoga is one way to practice mindfulness, it isn’t the only way. Also, not all yoga classes teach mindfulness. Many western yoga classes focus on the physical benefits of moving through yoga poses, neglecting the mind’s impact on the body altogether.

We, on the other hand, believe practicing mindfulness is essential to physical fitness. When you practice mindfulness, or move mindfully, you listen and react to your body. If you are being mindful, you are thinking about how a particular move feels in the target muscle or muscle group, while you are doing that move.

See an example of mindful movement here.

Why is this so good? Well, paying attention to your body in this way ensures you use proper form, avoid injury, and get the most benefits out of each movement. Mindfulness allows us to get to know our body, and set goals appropriately.

Mindfulness means listening to your body. It means really feeling what you’re feeling; emotionally and physically. It is simple, but isn’t necessarily easy. Practicing mindfulness can be frustrating because our stressful lifestyles often leave a lot on our minds. That’s why mindfulness is a practice, however! The key is to be kind to yourself when your mind wanders, and give yourself gentle reminders to return to the present.

See an example of mindful movement in the video above!

Food for Thought:

Why practice mindfulness?

Practicing mindfulness is good for both your physical and mental health. You can practice mindfulness daily by doing yoga, meditating (with or without guided audio/video), using intentional reflection to focus your thoughts out loud or in writing, or simply spending more time trying to identify when your mind is wandering and re-directing it back to the present moment. As with anything else, the more you practice mindfulness, the better you will get at it. So don’t get frustrated if you don’t feel like you quite get it on the first try.

No matter how you practice, there are many benefits of mindfulness, including:

  • less stress
  • reduced “rumination” or racing thoughts
  • better memory
  • better focus
  • decreased emotional reactivity, less extreme “ups” and “downs”
  • increased self-awareness
  • healthier relationships
  • regulated blood pressure

Many of the instructions Vinnie and I give during our workouts are intentionally mindful. We always remind our clients to listen to how their body feels, and modify workouts accordingly. If you have been engaging in these practices along with us, you have already been practicing mindfulness! You can build on these practices on your own. Try a yoga class. There are several different mindfulness apps you can download on a smartphone or tablet. Do some deep breathing. Or consider seeking out mindful journalling prompts online. Either way, the more time you spend being mindful, the healthier you will be overall!

Team Announcements

Happy Mother’s Day

Today May 9, 2021 is Mother’s Day here in the U.S. We would like to give a big shout out to all the Mamas on Team Di Bella Fitness, who show what it means to be a real life super hero every day. You inspire us!

Freebie Fridays

Friday May 14, 2021 TDBFit will post another FREE workout to our Facebook page! That week we will swap Friday and Saturday’s workouts. Therefore, 5/14 will be a full body workout, and 5/15 will be leg day. Please share our Facebook page with anyone you think may be interested in trying out a free workout!

Happy Hour Workout

Thursday May 20, 2021 we will have our second official evening workout + happy hour. Join us on Facebook at 7:00 pm for a cardio workout, with a cocktail hour immediately to follow via Zoom call. 21+ only. Hope to see you there!

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