Running and contemplation have many parallels. Both pursuits include concentrating on your breathing, being mindful of your body, and observing your thoughts and sensations. Therefore, integrating a pre-running contemplation into your regimen can significantly advantage you before you step onto the pavement, trail, or track.
Lauren Zucker, co-creator and CEO of the well-being studio Sage + Sound, underscores the necessity of being in the proper mindset before any physical activity. She proposes formulating an intention and taking unhurried breaths to pacify your nervous system and ready yourself for the jog.
Besides clearing your mind and comforting your nervous system, participating in a pre-run contemplation can also positively influence your brain chemistry. Running mentor Ryan McCann, originator of Cool Fit Club, leads contemplations before group runs and swims. He elucidates that practicing contemplation triggers neurogenesis in the prefrontal cortex, which is pivotal for focus. Moreover, aerobic exercise promotes the creation of neurons in the hippocampus, which is essential for memory. By contemplating before your workout, you can access the concentration zone, boost your focus, and enhance muscle memory, rendering your jogs more effortless and gratifying.
One variation of contemplation that captivates Zucker is sound meditation. This technique encompasses tuning in to various sounds that aid in calming the mind. Sound healing establishes equilibrium, offering less instruction than guided meditation and more stimulation than utter silence. Personally, Zucker favors sound meditation as her initial contemplation for jogging as it assists her in focusing on her jogging objectives.
If you’re keen on attempting a pre-run contemplation, you can listen to a 10-minute mindfulness meditation for mental resilience and focus by Dara Hart from Sage + Sound on the latest episode of The Well+Good Podcast. You can also explore meditation pointers for novices or subscribe to a meditative app that provides a broader array of resources.
For further well-being guidance from Zucker on combining mindfulness with movement, be sure to check out the latest episode of The Well+Good Podcast. And irrespective of how you opt to get active, never forget to breathe.