Physical training and meditation: a great synergy

From daily physical exercise to daily meditation training : Extending the happiness state of mind to daily life.

I am 47 and I have been trail running (or urban running when living in a big city) for the last 27 years. I run moderate distances (6 to 15 kms) at least twice a week. I run because I feel good when doing it and I feel even better in the following 48 hours. Running helps me handle the pressure of a busy life, literally by sweating it out.

Daily physical activity generates daily moments of wellness

As time passed by, I enjoyed not only the post-effort satisfaction and post-strain relaxation but also more and more the pleasure of exploring the places around me by running around (literally), whether it be a city or the surroundings mountains (I prefer that second option).

  • Sharp and crisp feeling/ sensation of being here and now — running up a path or running down a technical slope requires attention, which dissolves circling or intrusive thoughts. I’ve noticed that does not work if the path is not asking for enough concentration.
  • An overall state of physical flow of energy, with no ‘swamps zones’ in the body, nor in the mind. Physical wellbeing through endorphins and a good sweating, not to mention an improved fitness. Mental state oscillates from focus (technical path, uphill strain) to relaxed mindstate (just after a peak effort, when relief sets in) — with times of tiredness or boredom.

Daily meditation training sessions stabilize, deepen and extend my happiness

2020 is my fourth year of daily training on the mindfulness path. I train the way I do everything else, trying by myself exercises I find interesting (mostly found in books (1) ) and observing what happens in time, without worrying too much about it. If it has positive impacts, cool, if not, no worries. The training is a mix of breathing and visualization exercises, with a sequence based on ethics (altruism and compassion mostly). My first versions were light, not lasting more than 5 to 10 minutes, still the results motivated me to enrich them with more exercises (2) found in books.

  • I cannot tell whether I generate more positive vibes for my relatives or friends than before, as I’ve always been an enthusiastic guy. But what changed is the stability of my mood: some depressed or nostalgic moments I would experience in the past simply vanished.
  • And last but not least, I experience much longer periods of positive wellness after effects of the training sessions.

Notes

1- Here are the first two books that paved my learning path:

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