Updated: Aug 13
Meditation one of the worlds most ancient practices has been around since 5,000 BCE according to Time Magazine sourcing a study by psychology today. It is estimated that there are around 200-500 million people who practice meditation worldwide for different purposes.
Some people use meditation to reduce stress and anxiety while other might use it to deal with health problems such as cancer or heart disease. In my experience meditation has been beneficial in reducing pain after a workout and increasing focus for the rest of my day. In this blog I will explain the many benefits of meditation that are backed by science.
Reduces cardiovascular risk
According to the Journal of American Heart Association studies on the effects of meditation many studies show that meditation improves psychological and psychosocial indices. There was also a study that meditation surprisingly had mortality reductions in the primary prevention of cvd which is cardiovascular disease. The reduction of blood pressure is an effect as well, but it varies in some people with some having high dropout rate with blood pressure and some groups not.
Helps improve sleep
Meditation has been linked with lowering insomnia and improving the overall quality of sleep. Several articles from Harvard health publishing and the American college of sports medicine have supported this by conducting experiments on different in and out groups. A study in the Harvard health publishing article conducted by JAMA internal Medicine included 49 middle aged and older adults who had trouble sleeping. Half of the group were put in a mindfulness awareness program which taught meditation and exercise. Both of the groups met six times and the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression during the end of the study.
Improvement in fitness
Meditation is a good preparation method for working out. It makes your mind more focused and motivated with less brain fog affecting your exercise. Doing meditation is a good post workout tool as it is an excellent cool down tool which helps you relax and experience climax after your workout. These effects were found on the Aaptiv website which is a company dealing with fitness and training programs.
Rebuttals against meditation
I want to present an opposing view within this article and present a viewpoint that meditation may not have the benefits or could have potentially negative benefits on people. According to some studies meditation can give people some fear, depression, or even more stress from meditation. A study brought by the national health service of the U.K which questioned 60 people who practiced buddhist meditation in which 82% experienced fear or paranoia. However, 32% of individuals had a history of psychiatric disorder which were still included in the final results of the study.
From the studies I have offered I do believe that meditation has a long range of benefits from sleep to fitness. I do think with all things though it should be done in moderation and could have negative effects from what I have seen probably due to how much meditating you do or how many hours a week. It is your choice how you want to see meditation.
Ross, A. (2016, March 09). Meditation History: Religious Practice to Mainstream Trend. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://time.com/4246928/meditation-history-buddhism/
B. (2017, May 26). Does meditation carry a risk of harmful side effects? Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/does-meditation-carry-a-risk-of-harmful-side-effects/
Dellitt, J. (2019, July 02). Meditation Makes Exercise More Effective, Here's How. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://aaptiv.com/magazine/meditation-and-exercise-effective
Allen, C. (2020, November 12). The Potential Health Benefits of Meditation : ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2020/11000/The_Potential_Health_Benefits_of_Meditation.9.aspx?casa_token=wyBjY6kNMvMAAAAA%3ANHf5avM_TslaGxBPD8t-xdSRyIf8c0oA2NUPjrZJnCVTrBwrF7GGTVLHjqcmxOp9qct5llsUP8bU3NvI12PbmHVP-w
Levine, G., Glenn N. Levine Search for more papers by this author, Lange, R., Richard A. Lange Search for more papers by this author, Bairey‐Merz, C., C. Noel Bairey‐Merz Search for more papers by this author, . . . Search for more papers by this author. (2017, September 28). Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/jaha.117.002218
Corliss, J. (2020, June 17). Mindfulness meditation helps fight insomnia, improves sleep. Retrieved December 04, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-helps-fight-insomnia-improves-sleep-201502187726
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