Why is a Daily Body Practice Important?

The Daily Body Practice will help you to incorporate the principles of mindfulness into your physical fitness program, including agility, balance, flexibility, and strength. Through a Daily Practice of activity you will learn to use exercise as a tool to help you more fully enjoy the present moment and feel happier in it.

 

What is a Daily Body Practice?

A Daily Body Practice is the commitment to increasing the physical activity in your daily life, whether that is through cardiovascular exercise, strength training, Pilates or just moving more during the day. This commitment can allow you to cultivate better health and clarity of the mind. Additionally, it will help you become more mindful of your movements in general. Mindful movement is the awareness of your body and how it reacts and improves with increased physical activity.

A Daily Body Practice is the inclusion of regular physical activities or "Practices" into your daily and weekly routines, in order to increase physical health and foster an overall sense of well-being. The purpose is to let you play with or try out different practices and find out which ones you enjoy and make the inclusion of activity into your life a habit.  A Daily Body Practice will help you to incorporate the principles of mindfulness into your physical fitness program: including agility, balance, flexibility, and strength. Additionally, you will learn to use physical activity as a tool to help you more fully enjoy the present moment and feel happier.

A Daily Body Practice could be the inclusion of more movement into your daily routine or a specified fitness routine. Mindful Body recommends that you include regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training into your daily and weekly routines.

  • Cardiovascular exercises are aerobic activities that strengthen your heart and increase your endurance. Examples: running, biking, walking, and swimming.
  • Strength training focuses on improving balance, building muscle and building bone mass. Strength training exercises include weight lifting and resistance training. It also includes flexibility exercises like stretching and Pilates, which help prevent injury, enhance range of motion, reduce stiffness, and limit aches and pains.

 

Creating the Habit

Find a few activities that will keep you healthy and strong, and stay with them for as long as they are enjoyable. If you lose interest, it's time to shake up your routine. Add other practices or alter the way you pursue the ones that have worked so far.

Adding the practices in small steps will help you if:

  • You struggle to keep a consistent exercise routine
  • You want to exercise but life is moving so fast that you are often left feeling frazzled and scattered and can't find the time
  • You want to become more physically active but don't know what to do or where to start
  • You berate yourself because you well aware of benefits of exercise but you just don't like exercise and find it hard get off the couch and get going
  • You find yourself making excuses to avoid exercise, such as: I'm too busy, I don't feel well, I can't afford a gym membership
  • You exercise but feel like its not doing anything and you may possibly be in a rut
  • You found yourself not exercising because you are self-conscious and feel you will be embarrassed at the gym or worry that others will stare at you

You might hate exercise and need to find how to mentally move past the actual run on the treadmill to the rush when it is over. Habit, is the only way to stick to a consistent activity plan- by scheduling it and making it part of your habitual routine.

You might be one of those lucky souls who loves exercise but can't seem to find the time. However, the recommendation for moving to action is the same - schedule exercise into your day and make it just as much a priority and a routine as brushing your teeth.

When you move your body, you will feel better and following a workout you will also feel better about yourself overall along with the food you eat and the choices you make. Additionally, when you choose to do activities that you enjoy you are much more likely to get out and move your body and when you structure these activities and are mindful of why you chose the activities in the first place you are far more successful.

 

Benefits of Daily Body Practice

  • Increased physical activity can lead to a longer life and improved health
  • Relieves stress and anxiety - while a twenty-minute bike ride won't sweep away life's troubles, exercising regularly will help you take charge of anxiety and reduce stress by releasing hormones that relieve stress and provide a sense of well-being.
  • Alleviates depression - experts believe that physical activity increases serotonin, a brain chemical that fights negative thoughts and depression.
  • Boosts mood - exercise releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in the brain that energize our spirits and simply make us feel good.
  • Sharpens brainpower - the same endorphins that make us feel better also help us concentrate and feel mentally sharp for our tasks at hand.
  • Improves self-esteem - regular activity is an investment in your mind, body and soul. When it becomes a habit, it can help foster a stronger sense of self-worth since you are taking the time to take care of yourself.
  • Increased activity has also been found to curb your appetite and burn calories even when sedentary.
  • Physical activity makes you feel good about yourself and your body, which is a huge confidence booster, allowing you to more fully embrace the present moment.
  • Exercise releases endorphins that relax and energize your body and mind. If you are feeling tired, try a 5-minute walk, chances are you'll feel energized and be able to go five more minutes.
  • The miracle of exercise is that if you ask your body to do a little bit more work, your body will respond. And if you continue to ask more of your body over an extended period of time, you'll vastly increase your ability to perform physical activities. Walking around the block becomes walking half a mile, and then a mile, and perhaps even several miles.