MAY 23, 2018 07:06 AM PDT
Mindfulness as Motivation for a Fitness Program
2 4 227

Exercise is good for the body and good for the mind as well. Numerous studies show how different forms of physical activity can benefit patients who have anxiety or depression. A recent research study looked at factors involved in getting people to move more and what, precisely, can help with staying motivated and sticking with an exercise program. As it turns out, a meditation and stress reduction program was just as valid as structured exercise programs in getting people to move more stay with their healthy choices.

Researchers at Iowa State University compared two “intervention programs” that are designed to motivate reluctant exercisers. The first was a mindfulness program that aimed at reducing stress as a way of getting participants to stick with an exercise regimen. The other was a program of structured classes that met regularly. There was a control group as well that had no interventions but were participants just beginning an exercise plan.

The researchers looked at each group over an eight-week period. While it wasn’t unexpected that the two groups who had interventions did better on becoming more active than the control group did, the results gained by those in the mindfulness group were surprising. Jacob Meyer, an ISU assistant professor of kinesiology, explained, “Structured exercise training is something as a field we have used for decades to improve physical activity and physical health. To see a similar effect on physical activity from an intervention that focuses on the way someone thinks or perceives the world, was completely unexpected." Meyer collaborated with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Mississippi Medical Center to study how best to motivate patients into getting ordinarily sedentary adults into exercising for at least 75 minutes per week. Life expectancy can be increased by almost two years with the right amount of regular exercise.

The two groups spent the same amount of time in classes for their approach, two and a half hours per week. Those in the mindfulness group learned breathing techniques, self-awareness, and meditation methods as well as stretching and movement. The exercise group spent their time in aerobics classes. Both groups were also told to do 20-45 minutes each day of what they learned in classes when they were at home. All of the participants were urged to continue their programs past the eight weeks, and while most did, there was some decline in colder months in the control group who did not have any training. The study period of 8 weeks was perhaps too short to expect a significant increase in exercise, but the group who studied mindfulness showed the least decline during the post study period. The video below talks about integrating mindfulness into a fitness routine, take a look.

Sources: Iowa State University, Self Magazine, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
MAY 31, 2018
Technology
MAY 31, 2018
PUREGRIP: Safe, User-Friendly Bottles for Biomedical Research
Foxx Life Sciences and Borosil Glass Works Joined up to Create a Lab Bottle Breakthrough
JUN 05, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
JUN 05, 2018
Mechanism of Aspirin's Anti-Colon Cancer Effects Revealed
For some people, aspirin can help prevent colon cancer; now researchers have learned more about how that happens.
JUN 06, 2018
Neuroscience
JUN 06, 2018
Leg Day And Your Brain
Dedicated gym rats know that rotating their workouts is useful for building muscle. “Leg day” is a part of that rotation, when gym time is spen
JUN 05, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
JUN 05, 2018
Marijuana during pregnancy may result in smaller babies
Marijuana use during pregnancy may have consequences for infants’ weight and behavior, particularly in combination with tobacco use. Smoking during p
JUN 14, 2018
Clinical & Molecular DX
JUN 14, 2018
Automated Blood Drawing Device Coming to Your Doctor's Office
A robot arm could soon be coming to your doctor’s office to take your blood and analyze it for you. From scientists at Rutgers University, this techn
JUN 21, 2018
Health & Medicine
JUN 21, 2018
What Romania Taught Us About Child Neglect
Neglect in childhood can have devastating and long-lasting consequences.  In the 1970s, after birth control and abortion were outlawed in an effort to
Loading Comments...