Out of Shape? Try ChiRunning!

Running is a longtime favorite activity of many fitness-conscious individuals, providing both mind and body health benefits. Running helps to rejuvenate and energize the body by increasing blood flow and oxygen; an easy way to get in shape fast is to incorporate a running, jogging, and walking routine into your weekly regiment. Since breathing technique and posture are also important, many runners are partaking in a fresh form of running termed ChiRunning.

According to www.chirunning.com, ‘ChiRunning combines modern physics with the ancient wisdom of T’ai Chi to create a running form that is easily learned and makes running more effortless and enjoyable.” Now before you literally run away and hide from these promising claims, take a deep breath and think about the process.

T’ai Chi is derived from the ancient wisdom of the Orient, allowing the participant to enjoy balance, self-awareness, physical flexibility, and above all a calm and flowing state of mind. T’ai Chi practiced over time can bring significant health benefits including a sense of calm and overall wellness. Since T’ai Chi focuses on poses and posture, it helps develop key muscle groups and also encourages a deeper breathing state.

ChiRunning is a powerful combination of well-practiced posture, deep breathing, and maximum blood and oxygen flow during the run or jog. Since energy is dispersed efficiently, it gives your lungs the added advantage of clear and free breathing. ChiRunning reportedly increases speed and stamina with little effort, since you are working towards breathing and expending energy in a natural, free-flowing form. If you’ve ever watched a long distance runner after the onset of the race, you may notice how fluidly they move and perform. It’s at that time that mind and body are balanced and working ‘in harmony.’ ChiRunning attempts to hone in on this critical state of mind and physical prowess, and revolutionize the sport of running.

So how is it done? Focusing the mind is the first step, so self-awareness is key to the process. ‘Form Focus’ is begin able to visualize yourself as you are running, but keeping your eyes ahead of you in a soft gaze. It is akin to watching a candle during mindful meditation, or zoning in on a target in the middle of distractions. By doing this consistently over a period of time, you will find that you can relax all of your muscles and just flow with the pace of the run; this can range from a light jog, walk, or sprint. Although this may seem like multi-tasking, it is actually a natural process of creative and powerful ‘flow.’

In addition, exercising the mind in with Form Focus also exercises the brain. When both mind and body are engaged, you are mastering the art of ChiRunning. And it doesn’t stop there; ChiWalking works under a similar principle, with an emphasis on posture, breathing, and mindfulness. ChiRunning is a motivating way to get a head start on your fitness plan before the winter, with the added benefits of mindfulness practice in a natural and effective process. When you begin, start with ChiWalking, and gradually step up to harness the power of ChiRunning; it’s just one way to enjoy the benefits of exercise in a new and dynamic way!

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