Everyone that engages in a diet and fitness routine has different goals in mind--some do it to shed off some extra pounds, others to tone their muscles, and others to just keep themselves active and healthy. Whatever personal fitness goals you may have, it is important to exercise in a more mindful way, if you wish to get better results both short and long term.

Mindful exercise will give meaning to your workouts and make you feel motivated enough to continue. Here are the top principles of mindful fitness:

Adopt a positive mindset. It may sound cliche, but having a positive mindset, to begin with, is very important for the progress (or lack of it) that you are going to make later. It’s a part of a mental detox. Keep yourself motivated and positive by setting realistic goals and reminding yourself why you are exercising in the first place. Do this mindful exercise to train yourself into a more positive mindset: sit back in a place where you’ll be undisturbed, take a few deep breaths and visualize all your fitness goals as if they are already been accomplished. Think about all the joy and satisfaction you’ll get the moment you do achieve your fitness goals and how good you are looking and feeling. Do this exercise before every workout and you’ll find that you have more motivation to continue on.

Focus on your breathing patterns. Ever run out of breath and felt exhausted after a particular exercise? It happens all the time. Mindful fitness is about using the right breathing patterns as well. If you wish to control your breath the right way during exercise, inhale during minor and less strict workouts from the nose and exhale during more vivid workouts. Pay attention to the speed of your breath and do not rush or force it--it should come out as natural as possible.

Keep distractions away. While some extras like playing motivational music are actually useful for fitness motivation, some other distractions e.g using your mobile phone and watching T.V are not helping your fitness goals in any way--well unless you are watching exercise videos or something relevant. If you tend to receive regular phone calls, switch your phone off or turn off its volume and keep exercising. There is no excuse here for not using your phone. You can always catch up with any of your obligations later, once you finish your workout.

Work out at your own pace. Mindful exercise is never done in a manner that is too fast, forceful and pushy. Performing fast workouts, won’t necessarily result in faster results. Not to mention the risk of exhausting yourself and quitting before you finally achieve your fitness goals. What you should do instead is to listen to your body and work at your own pace in a frequency that makes you feel comfortable. Everyone is different and has different paces and you need to work with your own if you wish to maintain a fitness routine for longer.

Remember that mindful exercise is generally about listening to your body and working with exercises that really fit your goals and lifestyle. It’s what is working for your personally--not something you’ve seen everywhere else.

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