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Have I finally lost the plot you may ask with such a odd headline, no, I haven’t just yet, but I am working on it. I suppose now you are having visions of seeing monks alongside normal people who work out and have better defined bodies.
Well, it may not seem as strange as it sounds as we are about to find out. It all revolves around one thing, meditation in case you are not familiar with its health benefits, here are some of them.
- Can help with lowering cholesterol
- Can help to lower blood pressure
- Helps you to live more in the moment
- Can help with managing stress and depression
- Can help with concentration and focus
One of the great things about meditation is it helps you to connect with yourself on a very deep level. However, that is another matter. The reason to meditate is it helps to lower your levels of cortisol the stress hormone, boost your levels of testosterone and your growth hormones after training.
So if you’re looking to boost your workout results why not give meditation try after all you have nothing to lose. Now let’s take a look at how meditation and reducing stress hormones, etc are related.
Meditation and stress hormone studies
Research which was done at Maharishi University of Management, had a look at relationships between how your body reacts to stress stimulus, training and how meditation can help. When you are presented with a stressful situation your cortisol levels will rise up to a point and then stop there.
This is where the problem starts if you have high levels of cortisol in your body it has a double whammy effect it lowers the levels of testosterone and growth hormone. If you don’t have any exposure to stress and then have a mild exposure to it than your levels of the both above-mentioned hormones will rise.
What the researchers wanted to know was would meditating have a long-term effect on these particular hormone’s the reason being is because transcendental meditation is supposed to be very good in helping people who have continuous stress.
So to put the theory to the test the researchers had two groups aged between 18 and 34 one group meditated using the transcendental meditation [TM] for four months, while the other group did simple relaxation techniques/exercises.
Before the meditation and afterwards the researchers exposed the participants to a physical/mental test and then took measurements of their cortisol levels. The transcendental meditation group had lower cortisol levels overall but after the test it was shown to be higher than the group which did the simple exercises.
After two months though it was found that the group that were meditating had higher levels of growth hormone and testosterone compared to the simple exercise group. They did more tests after four months and more comparisons the simple exercise group had lower levels of the good hormones.
Whereas the meditation group had no change whatsoever from the other two months prior. So the researchers concluded that transcendental meditation helps to keep continuous stress under control so therefore when your body is put under some short-term stress it isn’t affected so much.
And this is why it is supposed to be beneficial when you are working out this to me represents a groundbreaking piece of research because if you are constantly stressed it can be hard to lose weight you are far more likely to gain it and over eat.
It has certainly made me think about starting to meditate again as at one time I was doing it on a constant basis but now perhaps it’s time to restart again.
Do you meditate yourself and would say that it does help if you’re not continually stressed in helping your weight loss and diet efforts? It would be great to get some feedback about this particular topic.
Source and references: http://www.ergo-log.com