I was browsing through my Team Beachbody back office this morning and came across this article written by Tony Horton. If you don’t know Tony, he is the trainer behind P90X (along with P90X2 and P90X3).
Meditation For The Soul
Contrary to what some may say, meditation isn’t just for the woo-woo hippy crowd. Take me for example. I meditate-and you don’t see me hanging out in an ashram and wearing flowy robes. (They get in the way when I’m climbing rope.)
Meditation is a completely secular (nonreligious) practice that does all kinds of great things for you. In fact, I think it’s so important that I made a point of including it extensively in my new book The Big Picture.
Case in point, a study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes showed that people with coronary heart disease who meditated reduced their risk of heart attack, stroke, or death by 48 percent.
Here’s how it works, your nervous system is divided into two parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic system. Even though the sympathetic nervous system sounds soft and fuzzy (sympathetic, like with unicorns and hugs, right?), it’s actually the “fight or flight” part of your nervous system and it activates cortisol, which inhibits he parasympathetic nervous system, the part that maintains the stuff we do unconsciously, like digestion and healing. Some people call it the “rest and digest system.” So when your nervous system is out of balance and you spend too much time fighting or fleeing, your resting and digesting suffer.
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Meditation helps bring your nervous system back into balance by upping your parasympathetic activity—making it a useful tool for fighting excess cortisol. A Harvard study used MRI technology to reveal that meditation activates the automatic nervous system (the larger umbrella for the parasympathetic nervous systems), which plays a huge part in warding off heart disease, digestive problems, and infertility.
See what I mean? Meditation is one of the best tools against stress we can use. In fact, P90X, P90X2, and P90X3 all feature yoga, a practice I consider to be moving meditation.
As with all lifestyle changes, the full benefits of meditating can take a while to really show up. Likewise, along with other healthy choices like a good diet and an exercise program, like Power 90 and 10-Minute Trainer, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure every time.
Meditation is free, chills out your stress, and has no negative side effects. So get quiet, shut out the world, and give a nice, soothing “Ohmmmmmm.” Your heart (and your nerves) will thank you.