Why you need to Meditate!

When I first became a Personal Trainer over 10 years ago, I thought health and fitness all boiled down to exercise.  I was in my early twenties, had boundless energy and so I trained like a maniac everyday.  Although my fitness levels were pretty damn good, my body didn’t change that much.  It was a couple of years later that I realised how important diet and nutrition was as well.  I learned that it was even MORE important for fat loss than exercise was.  So I continued to train like a maniac and cleaned up my diet at the same time.

For the next few years after this, all I sprouted to my clients was that all you needed was “Diet and Exercise”, “Diet and Exercise” and that these two bullets were all you needed for optimal health and fitness.  This worked for me really well and business was great.  But then a couple of things happened which made me question everything:

i) Last year I had a couple of key clients who participated in our 12 week Challenge and, although they exercised regularly and their diet was great, just weren’t getting the results they were after.  They couldn’t work out why they weren’t losing weight and felt frustrated.

ii) Personally I was stressed and anxious.  I found that my mind was constantly stimulated and distracted, I couldn’t focus on one task at a time, I would get to bed at the end of the day exhausted but couldn’t get to sleep because my mind was still racing, and I was basically never present in the moment. (My wife Sara lost it at me when one night, in the middle of a dinner party with friends I leaned over to her and whispered “Hey babe, I’ve got a great idea for the gym”.  She turned to me and yelled “Aren’t you listening to this conversation???”)

The fact is we live in a world full of distractions.  Whether it’s your spouse, kids, smart phones, ipads, facebook, twitter, instagram, work deadlines etc.,  our minds are constantly stimluated by the world around us.  The result of this is increasing levels of anxiety and chronic stress in our everyday lives.  The effects of chronic stress include:

– an increase in weight

– increased risk of heart disease

– increased risk of cancer

– lower quality of life

So I finally realised there was one more piece to the Health and Fitness puzzle.  One that is so important that if we neglect it, it can counteract all the exercise and dieting we do.  If you exercise regularly and eat a clean diet, but in a constant state of stress, worry and anxiety, then you’ll get nowhere near the results you are after and you won’t be near optimal health. And as we’re a “Health Club” we want to provide you with all the tools you need that go beyond fitness.

Remember my clients from last year who struggled for results despite exercising and dieting?  Well when I dove deeper and asked them about their stress levels, work, sleeping and anxiety can you guess their answers?  Yep you guessed it; high levels of stress, constant state of tension, lack of sleep and overloaded nervous systems.

Many people believe that Meditation is linked to religion or a dogma of some kind.  But it’s not.  It’s simply a practice to find some calm, remove ourselves from distractions and spend a few minutes a day in a calm, breathing state.  There are heaps of studies on Meditation and they have all proven that Meditation has a laundry list of benefits.  Both Physical and Mental.  They include:

Physical Benefits: – Improved Immune System

– Improved Hormonal Balance (which is crucial for fat loss)

– Better Sleep

– Lower risk of heart disease and cancer

Mental Benefits:   – Increased Creativity

– More energy

– Increased focus

– Improved happiness (yep studies have proven those who Meditate are happier!)

I now try and add a few minutes of Meditation to my morning routine everyday.  Although it was difficult at first and my mind was still wandering, I’m slowly getting better and feel so much better.  I turn up to work with more energy and more focused.

Try and add a few minutes a day to start with and slowly increase from that.  Or perhaps practice Yoga regularly which is awesome for this as well.  You’ll never look back.

If you have any further questions or would like to know more, feel free to email me at jerome@balmainhealthclub.com.au

Yours in health


Jerome Samaha