Mindfulness meditation is very popular these days and is known to help reduce stress and allow people to live in the moment. It helps people learn how to do every move with a purpose and accept the present moment for what it is without passing any judgement.
The calm process of meditation and the intensity of a HIIT workout might seem like complete opposites. When you are trying to work out at your maximum level of effort, it is not likely that you are also focusing on being as calm as possible. While you may be noticing your deep and heavy breathing, it is not in the same way that you do during meditation.
However, there are some lessons that are taught in the world of meditation that can help with your high-intensity interval training workouts. Meditation is all about keeping yourself focused and committed to the task at hand. Learning how to stay calm and control your breath are very important in meditation and are also a critical part of effective HIIT training.
During training, being able to take control over your breathing and your pace is essential for improving your athletic performance and increasing your gains. If you lose control of your breath or your pace, you are likely to get out of rhythm and have to keep taking breaks to get back on track. This can take away from your workout.
During the practice of meditation, the breath is used to help focus the mind and relax the central nervous system, which has an effect on your physiology and psychology. If you can bring your focus to your breath during HIIT training, you will be able to achieve a greater rhythm of pace. Once you achieve a proper pace, it will be easier to get into the groove of a workout and continue it until it is complete. It is important to learn how to properly pace an intense workout.
Meditation can also teach athletes to focus on their performance so they are able to track their results and measure their progress. This will help athletes avoid plateaus or stick with doing the same routine for several weeks without changing it up at all. HIIT is more effective if you are able to focus and intentionally calm yourself down to a place of meditation during times of extreme movement. Research has actually shown that athletes who practice daily meditation are able to improve their attention and performance when they are doing their high-intensity work.
Meditation also teaches people how to use their breath to control their heart rate. It allows people to correct shallow breathing by taking deeper breaths and getting more oxygen to the cells and blood, which increases energy. It can also change your mindset to beat negative and self-defeating thoughts during exercise and channel that energy into positive thinking. HIIT is a mentally challenging thing to do, so learning to control your focus and recognize self-doubt can certainly change the outcome of a workout.
To bring mindfulness meditation into HIIT, you can do some meditation before heading to the gym or once you are at the gym and about to get on the floor. Keep your awareness on your breath throughout your warm-up and into your workout routine. After your workout, do some stretching and sit for 60 seconds to practice some more mindfulness, focusing on your breath to center yourself and appreciate your hard work. Be sure to practice mindfulness meditation outside of the gym as well so you can perfect the art. This will carry over into your workouts at the gym and help you achieve greater success in muscle gains and physical fitness as you use mindfulness to get you through even the toughest workouts.