Should I Meditate Before Or After Workout? 8 Benefits Of Pre & Post Workout Meditation

Enhance your body awareness with a pre workout meditation or supercharge your recovery by meditating post workout


In today’s fast-paced world, the ancient art of meditation emerges as a swift antidote to tension. Not only does daily meditation bolster mental well-being, but it’s also an accessible remedy for all. No fancy gadgets, no price tags, just a moment of stillness.

But to meditate before or after workout? The answer is: Either! Or both! Or it depends on which benefits you’d like to reap! Let’s get into it…

Tracing its roots back centuries, meditation wasn’t always the go-to for stress relief. Originally, it was a conduit to delve deeper into life’s mystical and spiritual dimensions. 

Yet, in modern times, its purpose has evolved. Today, countless individuals turn to meditation as their personal retreat from the hustle and bustle. As the lines between mind and body therapies blur, meditation is gaining recognition, not just as a spiritual exercise but as a holistic wellness tool.

At its core, meditation is a sanctuary for the mind. It offers a respite, silencing the lingering hassle of stressful thoughts. 

And in a world where positivity and happiness are linked to better health, another gateway to this same health is exercise.

And so we can also meditate through exercise. I personally advocate that if you’re into sports, especially solo sports, that your engagement with that sport can be a form of meditation.

A form of presence because you’re both tapping into the use of your mind and body at the same time. 

However a combination of both traditional meditation and a workout can be a mighty pairing. 

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of meditation and exercise, and then suggest benefits of either meditating before a workout, or after.
a man meditating against a golden background

8 Benefits Of Meditating Before Your Workout

Meditating before exercise is akin to laying a strong foundation before building a house. It sets the tone, prepares the mind, and aligns the body’s energies for the physical exertion to come. 

Let’s delve deeper into the myriad benefits of this practice:

#1: Mental Preparation 

Just as athletes visualize their performance, meditating before a workout allows you to mentally rehearse your exercise routine. 

This mental run-through can enhance focus, allowing for a more efficient workout.

#2: Setting Intentions

Beginning with meditation helps set clear intentions for your workout. Whether it’s to push your limits, maintain consistency, or simply enjoy the process, setting an intention can give purpose to your physical activity.

#3: Reducing Performance Anxiety

If certain workouts or gym settings seem daunting, meditation can help diminish feelings of unease or self-doubt, fostering a more self-assured attitude.

#4: Enhanced Body Awareness 

Through meditation, one can cultivate a profound bond with their body. Meditating before a workout helps you tune into your body’s requirements, capabilities, and boundaries. 

This awareness can result in improved technique, a decreased chance of injury, and a workout tailored to your needs.

#5: Increased Motivation 

A calm and centered mind is more resistant to negative self-talk. Meditation can help warding off thoughts that might otherwise demotivate or discourage you from pushing through challenging parts of your workout.

a woman using grey arm weights

#6: Emotional Balance 

Physical activity often mirrors our emotional state. If you’re agitated or restless, your workout might feel more chaotic. 

Meditating beforehand helps in achieving an emotional equilibrium, ensuring that you approach your exercise with a calm and balanced demeanor.

#7: Improved Breathing

One of the core components of meditation is breath control. 

By focusing on your breathing patterns during meditation, you can carry over this improved breath control into your workout, especially beneficial for cardiovascular exercises and endurance training.

#8: Enhanced Mind-Muscle Connection

This connection is crucial for exercises that require precision and control, like weightlifting or pilates. Meditating before these activities can amplify this connection, leading to more effective muscle engagement.

Incorporating meditation before a workout is not just about enhancing the physical aspects of the workout but also about creating a holistic experience. 

It’s about understanding that our bodies and minds are intricately linked, and what benefits one invariably benefits the other. 

By starting with a few minutes of meditation, you’re not just warming up your body, but also priming your mind, ensuring that both move in harmony throughout your exercise regimen.

a woman sitting on a living room floor meditating cross legged

8 Benefits Of Meditating After Your Workout

Meditating after a workout is like the gentle cooldown after a rigorous sprint, a moment of reflection after an intense performance. 

It’s the bridge between the heightened state of physical exertion and the return to daily life. Here’s a closer look at the benefits of post-exercise meditation:

#1: Enhanced Recovery

After pushing the body, meditation can help in reducing the production of stress hormones, facilitating quicker recovery. It aids in transitioning the body from a state of high activity to one of rest and repair.

#2: Muscle Relaxation

Meditation aids in relieving muscle tightness. By centering attention on various body regions during meditation, one can encourage relaxation and possibly lessen muscle discomfort.

#3: Emotional Processing

Intense workouts can sometimes bring up strong emotions, especially if you’re pushing your limits. Meditation provides a space to process these feelings, ensuring they don’t get bottled up.

#4: Mindful Reflection

Post-workout meditation offers an opportunity to reflect on the workout itself. Did you achieve what you set out to? What could you do differently next time? This reflection can lead to more intentional and effective future workouts.

a woman in a gym pushing weights along a floor

#5: Cultivating Gratitude

Pausing to meditate offers an opportunity to appreciate your body for its power, endurance, and abilities. This can nurture a positive self-perception and a more harmonious relationship with oneself.

#6: Improved Sleep

For those who exercise in the evening, meditation can be especially beneficial. It can act as a buffer, calming the nervous system and preparing the body for a restful night’s sleep.

#7: Stress Reduction

While exercise itself is a stress-reliever, meditation amplifies this effect. It helps in further lowering cortisol levels, promoting an overall sense of well-being.

#8: Deepened Breath Control

After a workout, especially a cardiovascular one, your breathing might be elevated. Meditation can help in regulating and deepening your breath, ensuring optimal oxygen flow for recovery.

In essence, while the physical exertion of a workout activates and energizes the body, post-exercise meditation nurtures and heals through the breath.

It’s the yin to the workout’s yang, ensuring that you not only build strength and endurance but also cultivate balance, harmony, and inner peace. 

Together, they form a holistic approach to health, where the body is not just fit, but the mind is also at ease.

Further Information

As we mentioned earlier, it’s totally up to you how you organize your wellness routine. Before or after your workout, meditation will definitely complement your exercise, and vice versa.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article about meditation, why not check out our other articles:

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Born and raised in London, Luke is a passionate writer with a focus on travel, yoga, philosophy, and meditation. As a certified yoga teacher having studied under a swami in Rishikesh, Luke now lives in India pretty much just practising yoga, meditating and writing articles! Luke's life arc has gone from somewhat turbulent to peaceful, and he considers yoga and meditation direct methods to sustain introspective insight to manifest peace and happiness, despite life's challenges. Luke's passion for meditation has led him to complete multiple meditation retreats, where he spent almost 40 days in silence in the last two years. He practices various meditation techniques such as Vipassana, Anapana, and Metta Bhavana, each adding to his knowledge and experience of the true self. Most recently he meditated in Jaipur, India, and before that lived for a short spell in a monastery with forest monks in Northern Thailand. To Luke, yoga is more than just a physical exercise; it's a way of life that helps him cultivate a stronger mind-body connection. As a young man with arthritis, Luke understands the importance of observing and controlling his body, and yoga has been a vital tool in his journey to better health and well-being. The practice of yoga has not only helped him manage his symptoms but has also given him a new perspective on life. Luke's love for yoga and meditation is not limited to a single tradition or practice. He's fascinated by the spiritual teachings of all types of religious philosophy, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity for their essence and wisdom. His passion for spirituality is what drives him to continue learning and growing, and share his knowledge with other people. Luke in his spare time is an avid chess player, cyclist and record collector. He also has experience with addiction, and so sponsors multiple people from different walks of life in their recovery programmes.

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