Which is better? Meditation or exercise? Before we start any discussion let us first understand their meaning briefly at the surface level.
Exercise can strengthen our muscles, bones and heart as well. It is also proven now that it helps in production of oxytonin, a chemical which helps us to “feel-good”. While meditation does not seem to have more than these benefits. So, it can be concluded that exercise is better. No, we are wrong here, or should say possibly wrong.
Today, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association which states that being mindful can make you less available for having a chronic back pain. It is now proven that meditation is better for treatment of chronic backpain than any other exercises. Study leader Dr Daniel Cherkin revealed that “training the brain to respond differently to pain signals may be more effective, and last longer, than traditional physical therapy and medication.”
It is not the first time that scientist have done a research which favours meditation over exercise. There have been many researches in past and many is still in process to find out which is better.
A research has been done and it’s results suggest that being mindful can help you to make your immune system better than doing exercise for the same thing. According to a recent research doing deep breathing for long time can make your lungs stronger. Five years ago a research calmis that meditation is better than morphine to get a relief from pain.
So, if you manage to have an hour free time every day what are you doing in that time? Are going to gym and have some intense exercise or going to sit on the floor quitely and just clear minded?
Dr. Madhav Goyal, a professor at the prestigious Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, was doing a research on this topic five years ago and he published his result in a study which tells that mental benefits is related to meditation. It also claimed that physiological benefit is much more in doing meditation than any other type of exercises.
“We included 47 trials with 3,515 participants,” Goyal writes. “Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety, depression and pain, and low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health–related quality of life.
However, Dr. Goyal says he “found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment – drugs, exercise, and other behavioral therapies.”
According to a study , done recently , have also suggested the same thing, advantage of meditation over physical exercise. Beth Shaw, founder of Mind Body Fitness and author of Yoga Fit, said that meditation can indeed give exercise a tough competition while in some cases it has surpasses way ahead than physical exercises.
“Meditation can stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system,” says Shaw, “or the branch of your peripheral nervous system that helps your body return to a calm, relaxed state after the threat of danger has passed. When this branch is activated, your body can naturally rejuvenate, repair, and rebuild itself.
According to him meditation also clears your mind which will be very effecting for having a good sleep. It is also very beneficial for athelets as its make you more focused on your goal or any situation. It slows your rate of respiration which restores your energy and also boosts your immune system making you less available for any disease. It is also slow the production of cartisol, a chemical produced by our body which is the cause of stress.
Now many instructors and doctors use meditation to cure people’s physical ailments. It is used to treat mental health disorders, any type of addictions and also used to promote sleep in those people who are suffering from lack of sleep.
Anne Grete Hersoug, an instructor in Acem Meditation and a clinical psychologist at the University of Oslo, believes that both physical exercise and meditation both have their own advantages and none of them are superior than other. “I’d rather say that we need to make time for both physical exercise and mental techniques.”says Anne Grete Hersoug.