Can Meditation Help You Stay Active in Winters? Yes, Says Study
As temperatures dip, it might be accompanied by falling motivation when it comes to exercise, according to this report. A study quoted by the same report goes ahead to point out that on average, people see a fall of 11 minutes in their daily physical activity in winters as compared to summers. For most people, this is a significant fall. Looks like winters are making you lazier, but how do we address this? If the report is to be believed, the answers lies in meditation.
This was concluded after an eight week analysis with two different groups of people. While one group was given an exercise regime, the second group was introduced to routine mindfulness meditation.
Meditation and Exercise
A group of 49 people, both men and women were recruited for the study, primarily conducted by the Iowa State University, US. The people were healthy, but inactive. They had also never meditated. Next, they were all asked to wear an activity monitor for a week. After this, they were assigned at random to either exercising or meditating or to continue with their lives as before.
The participants of the exercise group were asked to exercise for 20-40 minutes everyday, and met once a week for a group workout. The mindfulness group, on the other hand, was given a standard programme to meditate. They were advised to practise mindful walking along with traditional seated meditation.
The routine lasted for eight weeks from September to early November. The participants were made to wear activity monitors for another week after this, but were not told their aim is to track physical activity. With the onset of winters, it was found that the mindfulness group remained more active than the one which had stuck to an exercise regime. Additionally, there was a fall in activity by 18 minutes in the second group.
As for the other two groups (meditation and those with no change in their daily routine), they were not required to meditate any more and could continue with their lives as before. A fall of only six minutes of activity was observed with them, less than what the average fall has been concluded to be so far (11 minutes).
The connection between meditation and activity is not still not clear for the researchers. However, they speculate that meditation made people more aware of their bodies. With their heightened consciousness, they perhaps found it easier to continue moving in the autumn and winter months.
(With inputs from The New York Times.)