When I left classroom teaching and real estate and started my online business in 2006, that was just one of the changes I was making in my life. I knew I’d be going from a fairly active lifestyle to one that was more sedentary. Also, I wanted to make sure my stress level improved, or would at least stay level. Embracing a “Mind-Body” approach to entrepreneurship was my goal.
Men and women today are no longer just concerned about their physical appearance when it comes to working out – they want to alleviate stress and achieve a sense of mental peace with their physical fitness regimens, too.
While some individuals tackle these two things separately in their schedule, many people don’t have time to spend an hour a day on physical health and another hour on their mental well-being.
By combining the two, it makes you look forward to your exertion of energy regularly because afterwards, you’ll feel better – more at ease. People tend to put their own needs last, so they might feel forced to choose between getting healthy, losing weight or improving heart health and achieving a sense of calm and happiness.
Below, you’ll find ten different ways you can combine your physical and mental health routines in a way that helps you in many areas of your life. You can choose one or rotate them in your life as often as you feel you need to.
The Many Benefits of Pairing Mental Focus with Physical Fitness
Time isn’t the only factor in wanting to combine your mental health and physical fitness routines together into one. The benefits for using a mind-body regimen are numerous, not to mention preventative as opposed to simply corrective.
First and foremost, stress levels begin to plumet when you’re using this approach. As many already know, you often experience a boost of endorphins when working out. But when you pair your fitness routine with an intentional mental healing process, it can be even more helpful in alleviating your stress.
Improved sleep is another benefit from pairing mind and body fitness elements. Expending the physical energy put forth in a workout naturally tires your body, but if you aren’t using a mental focus, your mind might still be going 100 mph – worrying about everything that can wrong – when your head hits the pillow.
Increased stress and a lack of sleep can deplete your immune system’s functionality. Therefore, when you use this dual fitness strategy, you’re also enhancing your body’s natural ability to fight off viruses and infections.
Stress is also a strong factor in heart disease development, so mental health and cardiovascular fitness together offer great protection for the person’s heart. You’ll also get to enjoy more energy because your body will gain strength and your mind will be reinvigorated.
Other benefits that you might enjoy that aren’t physical include improvements in your focus and concentration as well as giving you a boost of confidence. When you’re feeling better using a whole health strategy, you often approach life with less trepidation.
I’ve been working out almost daily with Kathy Hicks since 2020, and know this is an excellent strategy to achieve mind body approach to entrepreneurship.
Yoga Offers You a Powerful Mind and Body Fitness Approach
Yoga is one of the most popular mind-body fitness programs that’s common among men and women looking for something effective for these goals. It provides you with a combination of breathing, meditation and physical movements.
During the yoga routines, you will be experiencing stress relief and a reduction in anxiety as you focus and concentrate on the meditative practice. But you’ll still enjoy the physical benefits that come with practicing yoga.
These include improvements in stamina, mobility, flexibility, balance, and cardiovascular health. Yoga is a practice that has been embraced worldwide for thousands of years. When you do it regularly, you’ll begin seeing improvements in your mood, your physical strength, and in your ability to sleep well.
This is a practice that helps you develop a deep connection between your body and mind. Mindfulness and awareness is a core concept of the practice of yoga. This is something men and women can take part in from childhood through their elderly years.
While intentionally slow paced, the poses you’ll be doing in yoga will primarily help you with your strength and flexibility. These are extremely important as we age, helping to prevent injury.
You may notice a reduction in inflammation when practicing yoga, too. Inflammation is often brough on by stress when the hormone Cortisol floods your body. By immersing yourself in a physical exercise meant to simultaneously calm you down, you’ll naturally experience less inflammation.
Those who feel as if they have poor posture may enjoy the strength and alignment yoga provides to them, too. In fact, if you’re lacking self-confidence, this may play a role in helping you stand up straight and project more confidence and assuredness as you go through your day.
There are different types of yoga you can get involved in, not just one. In fact, there are at least eight different styles you can choose from that include the following:
1. Hatha Yoga – This is the most common form of yoga that simply focuses on your poses that are held for a period of time, paired with concentrated breathing.
2. Bikram Yoga – This is most commonly known as “hot yoga,” and it’s where they heat the room up to 105 degrees with a high humidity level to provide for an element of detoxifying.
3. Ashtanga Yoga – This is for those who like a challenge because it’s a bit more fast-paced version of yoga than usual.
4. Kundalini Yoga – This yoga method has a stronger element of spiritual immersion than other forms.
5. Lyengar Yoga – This is a form of yoga with a strong focus on corrective measure for posture, meant to help with spine alignment and better form.
6. Power Yoga – This is another fast-paced yoga method with a hybrid focus on strength training while doing the normal yoga poses.
7. Vinyasa Yoga – This is another fast-paced yoga format but it has movement that is in sync with the breathing instructions.
8. Restorative Yoga – This is one of the more relaxing yoga methods, using a slow-pace and deep breathing combined.
You might want to sign up for some classes at a gym or try a yoga program at home, and test out a few different styles to see what the best fit is for you. You can always start out with a slower form of yoga and level up to a fast-paced version or more challenging method.
Tai Chi Helps You Unlock Your Mental and Physical Energy
Many people who have a goal to achieve mental well-being with their fitness prefer to take a slow approach. Tai Chi is one fitness program that caters to that because it’s all about slow and controlled movements.
This is a very gentle fitness program, so everyone is able to participate without risk of injury or exhaustion. If you’re trying to improve balance and strength while also improving your mood, this might be the best option.
Tai Chi is a martial arts form that is perfect for people with arthritis or joint pain. You’ll be practicing deep breathing and enjoying the calming effects that has on your stress levels.
As your heart rate slows down, and your muscles become relaxed, you’ll enter a state of calm where you can zero in on positive thoughts and memories. Many people who practice Tai Chi claim they have improved cognitive function.
This fitness program, known as “meditation in motion” has five main principles of relaxing, being upright, separating your weight, being flexible at the waist, and beautiful lady’s hand.
Pilates Can Transform Both Your Body and Mind
Like yoga, Pilates is a very popular mind-body fitness program that many men and women enjoy. They offer classes at gyms around the country and it’s a popular form of low impact exercise that people take to strengthen their body while also minimizing their stress.
This mind-body program has a big focus on core strength, although it also benefits other areas of your body, too. Many people find that working on their trunk and core gives them the stability they need to feel stronger and more fit.
Studies have shown that people who engage in Pilates also have a reduction in symptoms of depression, and an increase in the amount of energy and focus they have. It helps with mental endurance, not just brief clarity and calm.
With Pilates, you may or may not be using equipment. Some of the things you may need include a mat, magic circle (or ring), Cadillac, Pilates chair, foam roller, Pilates reformer and other items like resistance bands.
Qigong Taps Into Your Inner and Outer Strength with an Ancient Approach
Qigong is another ancient Chinese fitness program that pairs a mind-body strategy. It has a strong emphasis on the promotion of relaxation, even though you’ll be working on your strength and flexibility as well as your balance.
Those who have high blood pressure often turn to Qigong as their fitness program of choice because it helps lower blood pressure, improve overall fitness and reduce anxiety and depression.
Others turn to this form of exercise because of the improved breathing it offers. The series of movements paired with breathing is meant to help improve the flow of energy in your body.
This is also a popular exercise for people suffering from painful things like fibromyalgia. In some studies, it has shown that doing up to 40 minutes per day of Qigong helps reduce pain, improve sleep and heighten mental functions, too. Can you envision yourself taking a mind body approach to entrepreneurship in this way?
Mindful Strength Training Includes Bodyweight and Resistance
Some people don’t equate strength training with something that can be beneficial for your mind, but the two pair nicely together. Whether you’re using bodyweight training or resistance training, you can do it mindfully to help reduce stress.
If you’re using strength training to do the physical fitness portion of your mind-body goals, all you have to do is include concentrated breathing and possibly some positive mantras to help you concentrate on your thoughts as you do the movements.
The tensing of muscles and slow movement as you implement and hold certain forms can be time spent gaining clarity and focus as you build muscle and gain flexibility with your exercise.
Toning up and achieving new levels of weights can also give you a boost in self confidence. Whether you’re able to lift more, hold a form longer, or improve your form and strength, you’ll be gaining mental satisfaction in your newfound abilities.
Walking, Running and Cycling Meditation Helps You Find Your Zen While Getting Fit
If you want to engage in exercise that is somewhat mindless, while giving you many health benefits and the mental focus you need to emphasize, you might want to engage in a mindful walking, running or cycling program.
Unlike some fitness programs that require you to learn movements and concentrate on the proper form, with walking, running and cycling, you can do them without having to think much about it – and pour your entire focus into the mental portion of your fitness goal.
With all of these forms of fitness, you enjoy perks like weight loss, increased energy levels, improved stamina, cardiovascular health and more. So while you’re engaging your body and muscles in these ways, you can focus on your mental state.
You can start out slowly walking, run at a jog or cycle at a slow pace and pay attention to your breathing and your immediate surroundings. If your mind begins to wander toward your worries, you’ll simply pull it back to the focus on your present space, movement and breaths.
Diving Into Water Fitness as a Way to Achieve Your Goals
If you suffer from chronic pain with your muscles, joints or other areas of your body, or simply love being in the water (which many find very relaxing), you might want to engage in some water fitness.
There are some things like swimming that can provide you with both physical and mental benefits. But you can also be above water, and engage in something like paddleboarding, where you’re on the water, surrounded by calming ripples, but not immersed in it.
Swimming has been known to improve breathing, and the consistent movements that are repetitive deliver a sense of calm and meditative state when you’ve been feeling anxious or stressed.
Even though you may not be sweating as you are in a gym setting, swimming will be a great heart healthy cardiovascular exercise for you. You can do it as little or as long as you want, and even sign up for some water aerobics if you want to.
Gardening Gives You a Mental Reprieve and Physical Stamina
When it comes to mind-body fitness, everything we’ve discussed up until now has been a specific fitness program. But the next two options aren’t necessarily viewed as fitness, even though they deliver on both physical and mental health and can help you achieve the goal of taking a mind body approach to entrepreneurship.
Gardening offers a great deal of physical exercise, depending on how much and what style of gardening you do. But it’s also a wonderful mental relaxation for those who need to spend time connecting with nature, unplugged from the chaos of the world.
When you’re gardening, you’re using all kinds of muscles as you dig, bend, lift, push and pull things. You will be working your arms and legs, back and core muscles. Your body will get a boost of strength as well as improved flexibility and toning.
It’s easy to see how working in your garden can contribute to your mental well-being. You’ll be in the fresh air, detoxing from technology and surrounded by the sights, sounds and scents of nature.
Studies even show that digging in the dirt makes you happier, and the scent of dirt as you garden boosts serotonin and can give you feelings of euphoria. This is something people of all ages and fitness levels can do. I just ordered some rare seeds from a place called Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and I am excited at the possibilities of a mind body approach to entrepreneurship through gardening!
Dancing Is a Fun Way to Get Fit and Alleviate Stress
Another fun non-traditional fitness method that helps you get in shape and improve your mental space is dancing. In fact, there are video games designed to help you get in shape, lose weight and have fun as you do it.
There are classes you can take as well – for all kinds of dance fitness programs. From things like Zumba classes to hip hop, jazzercise and more – you can find something you enjoy to get fit and have fun at the same time.
Dancing is known for promoting a relaxed state of mind, whether you’re in a class, at a club or even dancing around in the privacy and comfort of your own home. You can turn on the radio and dance the day away, reducing the tension you feel from the day.
There are things you can do to combine dance or jumping with fitness and mindset. For example, Rebounding can be used to achieve this goal. You get a mini trampoline with a bar (or without) and do a routine in place while bouncing and listening to music to make fitness fun and relaxing. I like to think I am dancing my way to a mind body approach to entrepreneurship!
You also might want to try a bungee workout. These fun classes have you hooked up to cables and with music playing, you’re flying and bouncing all over the room as you get a full body workout and focus on fun at the same time.
Fitness doesn’t have to be boring or only deliver physical benefits. By choosing the right program to meet your needs, you can boost both your physical and mental health at the same time and enjoy double the benefits as you do it. A mind-body approach to entrepreneurship just makes sense.
I’m Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my training on how to make your first income online at 3 Day eBiz (Use Code: MAKEITHAPPEN to Save) and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.