Study Points to Benefits of Combining Mindfulness and Exercise; Expert IDs Five Ways to Be More Mindful While Exercising
Erika Perez, a Jungian certified life coach and founder of Re-Mindful, recently reviewed a study that was published in Mental Health and Physical Activity, which looked at the combined effects of mindfulness and exercise.
Perez, who is bilingual, noted that the results suggest that when combined, mindfulness and exercise may offer tangible benefits for mental health.
“It is a challenge to fit in time for both exercise and mindfulness practices in our hectic lifestyles, and yet they are both crucial for our physical and mental wellbeing,” said Perez, who’s been studying the phenomenon of mindfulness for the past 15 years.
“A great way to integrate both activities in our busy schedules is to do them at the same time. The studies seem to suggest that the benefits to our mental health can be exponential.”
In an interview, Perez shared five ways to be more mindful, while exercising:
1. Practice mind-body exercises, which are a combination of movement sequences, breathing control and attention regulation. These exercises, such as yoga, tai-chi or qi gong, are designed to connect your body and mind in a more profound way.
2. Practice mindful breathing, while exercising. Focus on maintaining a controlled breathing pattern throughout your practice. One example of this is to be conscious of the way you are breathing, and maybe slowly start making your exhales longer than your inhales.
3. Using a mantra or affirmation while exercising keeps you calm and at the same time focusing on something you want to attract in your lives. It can be one related to your body, such as: “I feel my body getting stronger every day.”
4.Nature walks are a great way to disconnect from the world and connect to our natural essence. You can focus on the movement of the legs and the feeling of support of the Earth under your feet as well as the sounds, the smell, or the wind on your skin.
5. Whatever the physical activity, on your bike, lifting weights, or on a treadmill, focus on the intention of feeling strong and capable. Notice how your muscles contract with the movements and focus your attention to that specific muscle.
“The important thing with all of these is to focus with intention on your exercise,” said Perez, who practices what she preaches, exercising regularly from her home base in Texas. She also emphasizes exercise with her coaching clients.
“You can’t expect to be congruent for good mental health, unless you also take care of your body with mindful exercise. The study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8638711/#B28) only confirms that.”
ABOUT ERIKA PEREZ
Erika Perez, a Jungian-certified life coach, started Re-Mindful in 2023.
Like other people, she has faced many hardships in life, such as trauma, divorce, grief, and health problems. These experiences created a foundation of inner strength within Perez that resides within her to this day. They also fueled her passion to create Re-Mindful.
Born in the United States and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Perez pursued a traditional path of many women in Monterrey. She graduated from high school and attended Tecnológico de Monterrey, where Perez earned a degree in marketing. She then went on to work for Proctor & Gamble briefly before getting married and starting a family.
Toward the end of her marriage, Perez embraced personal growth, enrolling almost 15 years ago in Pathwork Mexico, an international organization that promotes “a spiritual path of self-knowledge, purification and transformation through all levels of consciousness.”
After her divorce, Perez and a business partner purchased a day spa in Monterrey, which she co-managed, embracing the opportunity to explore how products and services in the wellness space could support one’s personal growth.
Her self-growth journey started 15 years ago, and she is continuously finding different ways to integrate mindfulness to her daily life and to share these with others.
That journey continued well into 2020, when COVID began impacting the world. At that point, Perez turned inward. She appreciated how “the pause” from the so-called “rat race” created an opportunity for people to explore mindfulness. Perez began thinking about how people could bring a higher level of consciousness to their lives in a post-COVID world, leading to conceptualization of a product line that would re-mind people to be mindful.
She then used the next three years to enhance her qualifications. Perez became Reiki certified and experimented with various consciousness-promoting modalities. She then moved to the United States in early in 2021 and shortly thereafter worked in the spa industry as a supervisor at the Houstonian, where Perez continued to research the wellness industry and conceptualize Re-Mindful.
In the spring of 2023, she undertook an exhaustive 6-month certification course with Creative Minds.
Upon completion of the coaching certification course in September, Perez began final preparations for the launch of Re-Mindful. She is driven by the desire “to identify and embrace practices that resonate with my soul and that the best way to give back to the universe and my teachers is by sharing these products and services that make a difference in people’s lives.”