The Art of Mindful Running: Why Give It a Shot and How

Mindful Running
Mindful Running

Running, a popular form of exercise, is all-encompassing. Almost everyone can do it anywhere at any time without tools and equipment. Not only does it make you physically active for healthy living, but it also promotes mental well-being.

Unconvinced? Take the studies from a WebMD article: To sum up, running improves cardio health, ensures better sleep, and reduces arthritis rate. Meanwhile, it improves memory, regulates mood, and boosts energy.

But how do you take it to the next level? Consider mindful running!

This page explores the art of mindful running. Read on to learn more about its benefits and how to get started.

The Art of Mindful Running

In this complex world, living mindfully is essential for your overall health and well-being. You must be aware of the present without judgment and with compassion. The idea is to focus on what you do and enjoy the moment. That’s where mindfulness comes into play.

Practicing mindfulness for building healthy habits has become increasingly popular. Some practices include meditation, yoga, journaling, and even walking. However, one thing you should try is mindful running.

Mindful running is what it sounds like—being aware of running. However, there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s about being mentally connected with your body while running. It’s also about letting go of distractions and focusing on what you do.

But here’s the catch: mindful running is easier said than done. Focusing on it and what it does to your body is challenging. Chances are, your mind wanders while you sprint. But once you master its art, you’ll reap many potential benefits.

Why Give Mindful Running a Shot

Running alone already proves beneficial to your mind and body. However, being mindful of it can go a long way. That said, here’s how it will benefit you:

  • Boost in Performance: Increasing performance goes beyond physical training; it requires mental fortitude. Mindful running helps improve your performance as an athlete. One study shows mindfulness enhances endurance performance and executive functions.
  • Physical Strength and Endurance: Running alone significantly improves your physical health. However, focusing on what it does to your body will further boost your strength and endurance. How? The power of your mind will help you push further, especially if you join marathons.
  • Mental and Psychological Well-being: When you practice mindful running, you eventually get into a meditative state. You focus on breathing and running, helping ease your worries and minimize stress. One study revealed that running with meditation reduced depression symptoms by 40%.
  • Peace and Happiness: Mindful running somehow equates to meditation. As you focus on breathing and running, it calms your mind and brings you peace. As you sweat out more, your body releases happy hormones. Many anecdotal claims have proven how it leads to enlightenment, just like meditation.

How To Get Started with Mindful Running

People run for a handful of reasons, such as killing boredom, gaining clarity, achieving joy, or having inner peace. They want to take advantage of its many physical and mental health benefits.

But looking to take your running to the next level? Try mindful running and reap many of its tremendous benefits! That said, here’s how to get started:

  1. Understand What Mindful Running Is

To start with mindful running, you must first understand what it is and how it works. As such, consider the valuable pieces of information discussed above. Then and only then can you go ahead and kick off your journey.

John Gardner, Co-Founder & CEO of Kickoff, recommends mindful running. “There’s a line drawn between mindful running and the regular one. The former requires focus and attention; the latter lets your mind wander. It takes a lot of focus and concentration, but its benefits are all worth it.”

  1. Create a Schedule for Running

You have been running for quite some time now. Why not try mindful running this time? You’ve got to make the most of it!

Start by inserting mindful running into your schedule. You can use an app for your day planner so you won’t miss out on it. Incorporate it into your lifestyle, and that will make a world of difference in your life!

  1. Prepare Your Attire, Gear, and Accessories

Preparation is key to capitalizing on mindful running. You don’t just decide to run today and pull off your outfit. The last thing you want is to worry about your worn-out shoes, loose sweatpants, or damaged headphones. They will distract you along the way, defeating the purpose of running mindfully.

Kevin Le Gall, the Owner and Lead Editor at Climbing House, suggests investing in clothes, gear, and accessories for running. “It’s best to prepare everything you need, complete your outfit, and ensure they all fit you. That way, you won’t have to worry about what you’re wearing and will be able to run mindfully.”

  1. Be Physically Prepared and Mentally Ready

Mindful running is physical and mental, so you should be prepared holistically. Start by conditioning your mind to be mentally aware of yourself and your surroundings. That will help prepare your brain for mindful running.

For physical preparation, make sure you have the energy to run. Get properly nourished and fully hydrated beforehand. Some take pre-workout supplements to optimize their running; others take medical cannabis to treat their asthma before the marathon.

  1. Forget about Everything—but Running

At this point, you can go ahead and do the marathon. But here’s one rule of thumb: forget everything. What does this mean? Enjoy the present moment by focusing on what you do: running.

When doing so, pay particular attention to your legs, body, breathing, pacing, speed, and surroundings. Don’t let your mind wander; forget about your work, emails, bills, issues, and even plans in life. You can deal with them later on!

  1. Focus on Breathing to Avoid Distractions

Mindful running isn’t a walk in the park. It’s not like you can practice this throughout your journey. Your mind will most likely wander from time to time. Or you might get distracted by the sights and sounds.

Nancy Mitchell, RN at Assisted Living, recommends one thing to her senior clients who practice mindful running. “Here’s the trick: focus on your breathing. It works the same as meditation, where you count your breath as you inhale and exhale. It’s a viable solution for not getting distracted.”

Final Words

Mindful running proves beneficial in more ways than one. Not only is it good for your physical health, but it is also best for your mental wellness.

To get started with mindful running, consider the actionable steps and practical tips above. By following these, you’ll reap several benefits that will promote your overall health and well-being!

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