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Tuesday, March 03rd - 2020
Meditating Does More Than You Think
Hard training, healthy eating and good rest are the foundation of your muscular dream body. You have everything to achieve your goal. What probably did not occur to you however, is meditation. Isn't that boring? Stretching and stretching may not be your favourite, but it is crucial. How can meditation contribute to your muscle growth?
Research shows that subjects had a higher plasma melatonin level during meditation. The melatonin hormone is released when light decreases - read: it gets dark. Some think that melatonin is released when we go to sleep, but it is actually a sign that it is almost bedtime.
When you sleep, your body works hard to restore your damaged muscles and, therefore, grow and meditation promotes your sleep. Not only because it calms you down, but also because you are not sitting on your phone while meditating. Since melatonin responds to light, your phone is an obstacle to a good night's sleep.
Healthy blood pressure
Men with high blood pressure - hypertension - who received melatonin, had a fall in blood pressure at night. When you sleep, your body rests and your blood pressure drops. But if you suffer from hypertension, this reduction is less significant. The result? Poor sleep, stress and poorer muscle development. We do not recommend taking melatonin just like that, but we do meditate.
Your 'nice workout' your body sees mainly as stressful, which makes it produce cortisol. Cortisol does a lot of good things - regulating your blood sugar, creating adrenaline, strengthening the immune system - but too much cortisol slows down protein synthesis and increases protein breakdown. It also increases your blood pressure. If this happens too often, you become more resistant to insulin. In testosterone language: less muscle, more fat.
Meditating lowers your stress level and limits your cortisol production. Cortisol is also released if you do not sleep well, or if you simply worry - any kind of stress. Your body is better able to recover and produce growth hormones if you sleep well. Your blood sugar level remains stable, so your body can process fat into energy and you don't store too much fat.
Meditating after your workout therefore seems to have important benefits for your recovery, but you can also do it before your workout. Meditation increased brain activity in the area with which we recognize and correct errors. A mindful mind can help you work more accurately. Maybe you'll make better choices in your diet, or a stronger mind-muscle connection can help you train even more effectively.
Relaxing is good for you, especially after a workout. A calm mind has a positive effect on your physical condition in the long term. However, meditating once will not have the same effect as a single can of spinach for Popeye. To reap the benefits of meditation, you will have to do this more often, just like stretching and stretching.
How do you meditate?
The great thing about meditating is: you don't have to do anything. You don't do that in addition to sports and work, so it's better to spend it in a useful way. Sit down with your back straight. Sitting cross-legged is not a requirement, comfort is. The next step is difficult: don't think about anything. Of course you have thoughts, but let them go.
Tip: focus on your breathing and try to relax. Even when your thoughts carry you, stay focused on your breathing. A well known technique for breathing is the 4-4-8 method. Take 4 seconds to breathe in, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and gently exhale in 8 seconds. Don't you feel comfortable? Shorten holding your breath or exhaling for 1-3 seconds.