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To Jump-Start Your Exercise Routine, Be Mindful

Mindfulness defined

Mindfulness has become quite a buzzword and its meaning at times can be loose and subjective.

Mindfulness can be defined as a deliberate and controlled awareness of the present moment.

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To Jump-Start Your Exercise Routine, Be Mindful

To Jump-Start Your Exercise Routine, Be Mindful

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/how-mindfulness-can-jumpstart-our-exercise-routines/

well.blogs.nytimes.com

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Key Ideas

Mindfulness defined

Mindfulness has become quite a buzzword and its meaning at times can be loose and subjective.

Mindfulness can be defined as a deliberate and controlled awareness of the present moment.

Mindfulness and exercise

Researchers pointed out that mindfulness does not affect people's interest in exercise. Mindfulness affects exercise indirectly by boosting satisfaction because one feels satisfied when you are engaged in a positive experience. 

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Exercise and our food choices
Exercise and our food choices

Taking up exercise could change your desire for specific foods.

One study found that novice exercisers start to have a diminished appetite for fattening foods. However...

The effects of physical activity
  • Scientific studies reveal that a few people will lose a great deal of body fat when they start exercising. Others will gain, and most will drop a few pounds.
  • Studies show that most types of exercise increase appetite in most people, tempting us to replace calories and preventing potential fat loss.
  • Other evidence suggests that physical fitness may affect people's everyday responses to food. Some past studies show active people of normal weight displayed less interest in high-fat, calorie-dense foods. They may still enjoy the same food, but will not actively seek it out.
Not backed up by science
Not backed up by science

While popular, researchers say there is a serious lack of evidence to back up mindfulness apps, even though they are increasingly perceived as proven treatments for mental health. 

Seeking scientific validation

A handful of studies have been published on the efficacy of mindfulness apps, thanks in part to Headspace, one of the most popular apps in the field. In hopes of getting its app scientifically validated, the organization has partnered on more than 60 studies with 35 academic institutions. In the meantime, in lieu of research proving that apps work, marketers tend to draw misleading, but attractive claims.

The paradox of mindfulness apps

Mindfulness disrupts unhelpful habits. If you get distracted easily or have addictions, mindfulness helps curb these habits. But, in contrast, apps become popular and profitable by getting users lightly addicted to repetitive use. So, can an app really treat addiction, or is it inherently part of the problem? As of now, we don’t know the answer to that question.

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HIIT: high-intensity interval training
HIIT: high-intensity interval training

HIIT workouts generally combine short bursts of intense heart-pounding exercise (during which a person’s heart rate reaches at least 80 percent of its maximum capacity, usually for 1 to 5 minute...

The most well-established benefit of HIIT...

...has to do with heart health: Intervals can boost cardio-respiratory health with a smaller time investment compared to continuous forms of exercise

It's not about superior fat-burning capacity or bigger muscles, but about improved VO2 max, a measure of endurance that calculates the maximum volume of oxygen the body can use.

VO2 max is one of the best predictors of overall health.

HIIT and weight loss

People can burn comparable amounts of calories in HIIT routines lasting, compared to longer continuous exercise routines. But  this doesn't mean that calorie burn translates into weight loss

This is the problem with HIIT, just like with any other form of exercise: it’s much easier to lose weight by cutting calories in your diet than trying to burn excess calories.