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Mental health

Enrich your everyday with mindful movement

When one day seems to blend into the next, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a bit of a rut, especially in your work life. Introducing some mindful movement into your routine can bring a sense of meaning and reinvigorate your outlook. There are several interpretations of how to practice mindfulness; simply put, being mindful means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment through a nurturing lens. Here are some ways to exercise mindfulness while aiming to reach the recommended 24-hour movement guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week.

pregnant woman walking with earphones outdoorsTake a new route

A stroll or wheel can become an excellent opportunity for mindful midday movement. As you move through the environment tune into your surroundings, take in the sights, smells and sounds. Try not to dwell on the distance you travel; go as far as feels right for you that day. Seek out stimulation by visiting a new neighbourhood, park or landmark. Experts say that the combination of novelty and physical activity can help you to feel more focused when your routine is feeling overly repetitive and mundane.

Try lunchbreak yoga

lady doing yoga indoors in front of her laptopUse your break from work for a virtual yoga session to support mindfulness and wellbeing. There are endless affordable and even free online options to suit your schedule, varying from just a few minutes to a full flow class. Without getting too caught up on form, savour the opportunity to reconnect with your body and tune into your breath through movement. After the session, you may return to work feeling calm and even notice that interactions with your colleagues are more pleasant.

man stretching in a chairDo some seated stretches

If you can’t dedicate time to a fulsome yoga practice, try some yoga-inspired movements from your workspace – seated twists from the waist, arms-over-head stretches, forward folds, wrist and ankle rolls and neck stretches. Focus on how the various movements relieve physical tension and take slow, mindful breaths to help alleviate stress.

Break a sweat

smiling lady running on the streetMake a heart-pumping jog, bike ride, or brisk walk mindful by tuning into how your body is responding to your movement. Avoid external distractions, judging your performance and the speed or intensity of your activity. Instead, relish the sensation of your muscles moving, your heart beating and lungs expanding.
Introducing mindful movement into your day can help to reinvigorate your routine and improve your overall sense of balance.

Making a concerted effort to be present, compassionate and in-tune with your body and surroundings while you’re physically active can help to establish a deeper connection between your mind and body.

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