Mindfulness and Injury Prevention
Being mindful during any movement not only assists with
self-motivation, but can also prevent injury. When walking to the subway or work, stop, take-notice, be aware of yourself physically and mentally. Am I breathing easily or am I tense? Are my shoes comfortable or are they affecting the way I walk? The bag hanging off one shoulder or the backpack, how much is in there that really needs to be? Be aware and then use the awareness as a prompt to make a change, lighten the load, organize and clean out your backpack or purse. Be proactive, take action instead of repeating the same pattern over and over again which can lead to tension, pain, and eventual injury.
Mindfulness means being present and being aware of your body. Current research is now promoting not only training of the neuro-muscular and skeletal system but also the fascial system which encompasses our entire body like a stocking and can cause restrictions, injuries and prevent healthy physical conditioning. If over-worked or over-stretched, the fascia will lose its hydrated quality causing tense and restricted movements.
For instance, when you are feeling elastic or spring-like in your movement continue on; however, when you start to feel a stiffness or heaviness stop,slow down, re-hydrate, bring down the intensity until you are able to re-establish that same spring-like ease or bounce in your movement. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly. Continuing on at the same pace can lead to overuse and injury.
A Mindful Approach to Food
Lastly, mindfulness in what you eat can be a major contributor in the battle to a healthier body and mind. Take time and be cognizant of when and what you are eating. Think about the quality of your food and the speed at which you are eating. Standing and eating as you multi-task is a sure way to not notice how much you have consumed, how quickly you consumed it, whether you enjoyed it or to even notice you are full.
In order to make any changes we must be aware of the "here and now'" and the patterns we have established both physically and mentally. Mindfulness helps us to become more connected with ourselves and to find ways to make positive changes in our lives. There are many ways to learn how to become more mindful. Breathing classes, exercise classes being taught with a mindful approach, and meditation are just a few examples of how to get started.
By paying attention to these small details and in essence joining what we call "the Mindful Movement" you'll see yourself become happier, healthier and able to live more in the moment! Make mindfulness your New Year's Resolution.