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The nights are getting darker, longer and let’s face it, colder. Sometimes the last thing you want to do on a chilly morning is leap out of bed and jump straight into a workout. But what if there was a way of sustaining your physical activity through those baltic winter months? Here’s why meditation could help your winter training.

As the winter months approach the exercise routine that you found so easy to sustain throughout those lighter, warmer months can seem less appealing when it’s cold and dank outside. Research has consistently demonstrated that our physical activity has seasonal patterns, lessening during winter. It’s as simple as it sounds, when it’s cold and wet our motivation to workout just isn’t there. On average we move 11 minutes less per day in winter.

Maybe you’re training for a marathon, a half marathon (Hello, Hastings Half Marathon, we’re all signed up for 2019), you’re cycling, hiking or you want to sustain your exercise routine all through winter? Here’s why meditation could help your winter training.

Why meditation could help your winter training

New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State University aimed to compare 8 weeks of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), aerobic exercise training (AET), and no-treatment control during autumn on objectively measured physical activity in healthy adults.

It’s cold out there…

The research subjects didn’t know that their physical activity was being measured, they were informed that the study was examining the impact of exercise and meditation on the common cold.

The study worked with 49 inactive subjects who were new to meditation. All of the participants wore an activity monitor and were assigned to one of three groups;

Group 1: Began exercising

Group 2: Started meditating

Group 3: Continued as normal (the control group)

The study took place over a two month period during autumn as winter approached.

The impact of meditation on exercise

At the end of the study the control group were moving, on average, 18 minutes fewer each day than they had before winter. Both the group who had begun exercising and the group who had started meditating were moving more. Their activity has reduced, by 6 minutes a day but they remained relatively active. Both exercise and meditation had a positive effect upon sustaining physical activity.

Whatever your regular workout consists of, it could be worth incorporating meditation into your routine to find out how meditation would help your winter training.

Want to know more about meditation and exercise? Take a look at our free guided meditation practices or free resources on the website including our free meditation e-book, toolkitspodcasts, blogs and psychometrics. 

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