No matter where you are in your fitness journey, one thing we can all agree on is that there is always room for improvement. After all, fitness is a journey, not a destination. Whether you’re looking to improve your flexibility, run a faster marathon, or just get a workout in at least once a week, there are always new goals we can set for ourselves. You may be surprised to learn that there’s something that can help you, which you may not be implementing into your routine: meditation. That’s right, taking time to sit back and practice meditation may actually help you improve your fitness game. Here’s how.

Meditation Can Help Pain Management

Pain is a symptom that may result from certain exercises – especially if you’re into high-intensity workouts. While you should always see your doctor if you are experiencing pain (it may be a sign that you are working out incorrectly), mindful meditation is also a powerful tool to help you combat pain. In fact, science has proven that it can be more effective than morphine! By incorporating mindful meditation into your daily routine, you may be facing a future of more comfortable workouts. That’s something we can get behind.

Meditation Can Help You Focus

The whole point of meditation is to be present and mindful of the moment. In other words, meditation can make you better at being laser-focused on the task at hand. Imagine how beneficial this can be during your favorite workout. Instead of mindlessly letting the time pass, you can really hone in on the moves you’re doing and make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. When you’re focused, you’re more likely to correct your form (thus, preventing injury) and push yourself harder to get the results you want.

Meditation Can Help You Breathe

This one may seem weird. You might be thinking, “I don’t need help breathing, it happens naturally!” Well, yes and no. While we don’t think about breathing every moment of our day, we sometimes forget to breathe correctly during a workout. Have you ever noticed that during a particularly strenuous move, you find yourself holding your breath? That’s not good! You need constant oxygen flowing to your muscles in order to keep up with your exercise. Meditation helps you focus on your inhales and exhales, which can be useful during your regular sweat sessions.

Meditation Can Help You Combat Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety sucks. Plain and simple. And anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. So many people deal with anxiety disorders and depression and it’s been proven that meditation can help you deal with your symptoms and reduce how often they pop up. But what does this have to do with exercise? Well, according to a study conducted by Rutgers University, when you combine exercise and meditation, your symptoms of clinical depression can be reduced by a whopping 40%. That’s huge! With improved cognition and an overall boost in mood, you may be inclined to exercise (and meditate) more often, which is great for both mind and body.

Now that you know how meditation can lead to better workouts, will you incorporate it into your daily routine? Even just a few minutes of mindful meditation has amazing benefits! Tell us – how do you meditate?