Practice presence while exercising
Next time you go for a run, try practicing just being present, without thinking or passing judgment on anything. Just notice everything around you. The trees, the birds, the wind, the ground, your breath, how your body feels. No judgment, just noticing.
“Hello, tree. Oh, there’s a bird. Hmm, let’s see how the ground feels under my feet. There’s a slight vibration in my lower back, how interesting. Now there’s an uncomfortable feeling in my thighs.”
And on and on. See how long you can keep it up.
Every once in a while, you’re going to get caught up in thoughts or start to judge whether something is good or bad, pleasant or painful.
Just notice that, too, and gently get back to non-judging.
It’s a great way to augment your physical exercise with something that benefits you on a much deeper level as well.
It’ll work for any type of solitary exercise, but clearly best for outdoors activities. It would be great for biking as well.
Give it a try next time you exercise, and let me know how it felt.