Modern medical thought is increasingly recognizing the health benefits of meditation. The UK’s National Health Service prescribes a form of meditation called Mindful Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for depression and anxiety, and as a complementary treatment for cancer and chronic pain sufferers. It has been found to reduce pain, blood pressure, lactic acid levels, heart rate, breathing rate and metabolic rate.
But that’s not all! Many believe meditation can help control weight gain, especially around the mid-section, often caused by stress and increased levels of cortisol. Studies have found that blood cortisol levels drop during meditation and stay low for hours afterwards. The less cortisol in your blood, the less you’ll crave high-fat, high-carbohydrate comfort foods. While meditation shouldn’t replace a good diet and regular exercise, it will definitely help you reach or maintain a healthy body weight.
If meditation doesn’t appeal to you, consider a more active approach like Tai-Chi (meditation in motion). The British Heart Foundation recommends active meditation such as Tai-Chi to aid in recovery from illness, reduce stress and help keep your heart healthy. Tai Chi gives you all the benefits of traditional meditation and increases your stability, flexibility and core strength. With such undeniably attractive benefits, how can you resist spending 10 minutes each day simply breathing and relaxing?
Of course, learning to meditate can be daunting, but the important thing is to not allow it to stress you out! There are many different forms of meditation and whichever method you choose, you really can’t go wrong. As you progress in your meditation practice, you’ll become more relaxed and reap the rewards. If you’re not sure which meditation style is for you, just stick to these few handy hints.
Whether you’re trying to maintain weight or lose a few pounds, our health and nutrition counsellors can help set you on the right path. Visit workhealthlife.com or call 1 866 833-7690.