It’s hardfor me to stay in the moment. Like, generally in life, but also at the gym.
Inmy first Bikram hot yoga class, the instructorurged us to focus on our breathing, not onour mental to-do lists.
Though it took me several minutes,I completelydetached from the guy who’d cheated on me with his ex and my third overdraft fee of themonth.
Stripping everything away, I fully focused on thepurposeof each pose.
By the time I’d sweated out my edges and stepped out into theBrooklyn summer air, I felt like I was floating.
Not only had I completed most of the strenuous postures (without farting, might I add), but I’d also spent two hours doing my body good.
Usually, mentally checking in is not my forte. It’s not unlike meto check Twitter while on the treadmill or pause my cardioto snap a selfie.
Because, duh, I’m adorable in a sports bra and yoga pants.
However, my experience in Bikrammade me wonder if applyingbasic yogaprinciples toall my workouts would maximize their benefits.
As itturns out, there isscientific basis for the idea that mental focus can lead to a better workout.
By connecting fullyto every arm curl without distraction, you can burn off those late night Seamless deliveries so much easier.
Cutting out distractions leads to less stress.
In a recentstudy, researchers found women torchfewer calories when worries clutter their headspace. All that stress also leads to more weight gain over time.
Before you work out, take a minute to lock out day-to-day stressors.Try not to mentally check your emails, either.
Instead, centeryour attention solely on spin class and, in turn,burn off last night’s chicken wings.
I like to turn on myFuture playlist,whichI never want to skip through. Then, I spend 10 minutes stretching and breathing.
If quieting the chaos of your dayis too difficult, taking your stress out on aboxing class works wonders.
Picturing your cheating ex’s face on a bag andthrow your all into it.
Setting goals maximizes the effect of each exercise.
Spending over $150 on your Equinox membership is a great incentive not to f*ck around.It’s also much easier to peel yourself off the couch when you’re not aimlessly exerting energy.
Instead, plan your workout. It’ll keep you motivated and stopyou from comparing yourself to others.
Don’t lie, I know youalways peek to see what mile the skinny girl is on.
Choose a regimenthat’ll help you stop falling asleep in morning meetings or get you closer toGigi Hadid’s abs.
Even if you arejust looking to achieve your best body by summer, recognize what you want and go for it.
Focusing attention on your intention makes you work out longer.
I barely have the time to shave, let alone spend 90 minutes swiping sweat from my brow.
Thankfully, a tactic called “attentional narrowing” makesworkouts seem shorterbybreakingtwo-hourHIIT sessionsinto shorter goals instead of overwhelmingroutines.
For instance, you may run longer outside than on a treadmill because you can use landmarks and scenery asprogress markers.
Don’t look at your yoga class as an hour of back-bending. Train your brain to zero in on one pose at a time. It’s like the Wunderlist of workouts, allowing you to check off sections of your sweat session, one by one.
I say I’m ever overjoyed to sweat it out three times a week. But, seriously, what a waste of time to leaf through US Weekly gossip on a stationary bike.
Though I haven’t reached every fitness goal yet, at least I’m nothalf-assing my workouts on the way there.