Meditation has become part of mainstream Western culture like never before. That's no surprise when you consider its many benefits – from improved concentration to overall peace of mind.
But does meditation also help you lose weight? While researchers are still conducting studies on the topic, some research shows there is a connection between meditation and weight loss. Here are a few of the reasons why:
1. Meditation Reduces Stress
Stress has long been shown to trigger weight gain while hindering efforts to lose weight. Meditation may lower levels of cortisol – a stress hormone that has a huge impact on metabolism and insulin insensitivity. Cortisol helps you be more aware of what you're eating and why. Moreover, stress hormones tell the body to store extra weight while leading to physical problems that result in weight gain.
A study by Carnegie Mellon University showed that 25 minutes of daily meditation for three days significantly reduced stress. Another study showed that meditation prompts brain waves to shift into a relaxed state that's similar to sleep. This relaxation lowers your body's amount of stress hormones, which can decrease overeating and weight gain.
2. Meditation Improves Self-Control
Other studies show that meditation affects the parts of the brain that aid with self-control. Improved self-control helps you be more mindful of what you're eating and how much, and makes it easier to pass on unhealthy foods when you're feeling down or distressed.
3. Meditation Helps You Become More Mindful
Daily meditation practice helps you let go of the past and excessively thinking about the future. Your past may include previous attempts at weight loss that failed or faded away when results were slow in coming. You may also experience anxiety about the future, including whether or not you can consistently practice habits such as healthy eating and exercise.
Being present helps you keep your head on straight. It can also help you pay attention to how your mind and body feel as you eat.
4. Meditation Leads To Strong Intention
It's no secret that the power of intention can have a tremendous influence on our lives. By meditating on losing weight, you're putting in the positive energy and intent to accomplish it. You're also leaving yourself open to what the world can provide you. This dedication is crucial for helping you stay on track with your weight loss goals.
5. Meditation Creates A Sense Of Purpose
Meditation not only reduces stress and creates feelings of peace within you, but it also helps you to develop a sense of purpose. Lowered stress eases the fight-or-flight syndrome that can cause hormones to become out of balance.
Although there is still a lot of ongoing research out there about meditation and weight loss, there does seem to be a relationship between the two. Meditation can help lower stress hormones like cortisol, which stops you from overeating. It also improves your frame of mind, decreasing anxiety and improving your self-control, mindfulness and sense of purpose.
If you're trying to kick off those extra pounds, you can get the basics for medication, HERE. Or, to really start shredding the pounds, give my 2 Weeks Of At-Home Workouts a try!
Many people avoid yoga because they're inflexible. The problem is, they're the ones who should take up yoga in the first place.
If you find yourself facing a similar situation, i.e., you'd like to start a yoga practice but don't feel flexible enough, here's the good news: There are plenty of poses you can start with while gradually deepening your practice.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind before you do the following poses:
1) Breathe deeply and evenly throughout the pose, and
2) Don't hold the pose for longer than your body allows.
1. Child's Pose
The Child's Pose is a basic resting pose you can hold for a few minutes.
How to do it: Begin with your knees and feet on the floor with your feet touching. Slowly lean forward to place your head on the floor while resting your belly and chest between your legs. Stretch your arms out in front of you.
2. Upper Chest and Back Opener
You can do this move almost anywhere and while either sitting or standing.
How to do it: Raise your arms to shoulder height with your elbows bent. Make your hands into loose fists that are facing each other. Open your chest by drawing your elbows back as if they were going to meet behind your back. Next, return to the starting position while continuing onward until your hands wrap around your shoulders with one elbow stacked on the other. Do two to three sets while switching which elbow is on top.
3. Chair Pose
Both sides of your body will move in and out of this pose at the same time. The Chair Pose is an excellent leg strengthener.
How to do it: Stand with either your feet together or hip-width apart if you're especially stiff. Bend your knees as if you're sitting in a chair while raising your arms alongside either side of your head.
4. Seated Forward Bend
If you're new to yoga, use a block and straps for this exercise, which increases flexibility in your legs and back.
How to do it: Sit on a block or blanket with your legs stretched out in front of you, knees slightly bent. Place the strap around your feet and gradually lengthen your spine as you move your upper body forward. Be careful not to round your spine.
5. Locust Pose
The Locust Pose is an excellent backbend for beginners that strengthens all of the muscles in your back.
How to do it: Lie on your belly and raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor. Your palms should face the floor as you focus on keeping your neck long while extending your head away from the chest. If you'd like, clasp your hands behind your back when you lift to create a deeper opening for your shoulders and chest.
6. Tree Pose
The Tree Pose is a one-legged balancing pose that helps center the mind while building confidence.
How to do it: Stand on one leg and bring the foot of your opposite leg up to your ankle (or higher depending on your flexibility). Lift your arms into the air to create the tree's "branches." It's OK to put a hand against the wall for balance or to stand with your back against the wall.
Improve your balance and lose weight with my at-home workouts. To get two weeks of FREE exercises, click on the link below.
Who isn’t busy these days? It seems like trying to fit even just a 30-minute workout into your schedule is impossible. However, I don’t have to tell you how important it is for you to squeeze some form of movement into your day, every day.
With this Ralph Roberts Personal Training workout, you can get a total-body workout in just 15 minutes! And all you need is a single piece of equipment: a BOSU ball.
What’s a BOSU ball? It’s literally a half ball. One side of the ball is dome-shaped and the other side is flat. It offers a simple, yet versatile platform for a variety of exercises, such as push-ups, planks, mountain climbers, and everyone’s favorite exercise — burpees.
You can even do this workout in the comforts of your own home, but many gyms and health clubs, including the Downtown Athletic Club have plenty of BOSU balls and other workout gear for you to use.
Download my FREE BOSU Ball Guide: 7 Full-Body Moves and challenge your body for just 15 minutes a day. For the best results, pair this workout with a healthy diet plan.
A BOSU Ball is fitness device that looks like a stability ball cut in half. The flat side is a rigid platform. The other side is an inflated half-sphere that feels and reacts much like a ball, except for the rolling and bouncing parts. BOSU stands for "both sides up". This fitness device offers workouts using both the flat rigid platform and the unstable ball bottom.
How Does A Bosu Ball Improve Balance?
The BOSU is a great device to improve balance. The person stands on the rigid platform with the inflated portion on the ground. This forces the person's body to work to remain in balance. It engages the leg, back, and abdominal muscles as the body shifts around.
Once you have a certain stability built up, you can change things up to give yourself a challenge:
What Are Some Strength-Building Exercises for a Bosu Ball?
When you flip the BOSU over with the rigid side down and the inflated side up, you have a great platform for doing strength training on an unstable surface.
Where Can I Learn More About Bosu Ball Exercises?
If you want to learn how to use the BOSU ball and build up your strength and balance, work with a certified personal trainer, like Ralph Roberts. Contact Ralph today to schedule a personal training session where he can customize a workout just for you. Be sure to check out my instructional video below on how to use a Bosu ball!
Like Ralph on FACEBOOK
Get daily motivational quotes and quick workouts to help you reach your goals.