Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Stress-Less Fitness Programme:- Update

Stress-Less Fitness Collective

On the 28th March I attended an induction called the Stress-Less Fitness Programme which included completing a health & fitness questionnaire and taking part in 3 minutes of mindful mediation using a MUSE brain sensing headband, the band is a personal meditation assistant which measures how calm or active your mind is and translates those brain signals into guiding sounds.

When your mind is calm and settled you hear calm and settled wind/rain and birds if you're extremely calm, and when your active you hear stormy weather/thunder.

Muse Brain Sensing Headband
Me using the MUSE Brain Sensing Headband

After my 3min meditation the results were fed back through to the muse app (which you have to download beforehand) it showed that I was 28% calm, which meant the other 72% was in a active state.

I've always found meditating really hard, can never quite switch off my brain - always thinking about what happened yesterday, trying to solve problems or making plans etc. Guided meditation is to help bring you to a neutral mind set of calm, and the only way for you to do that is to focus your thoughts inwardly and on the present moment. See my results below.

Graph showing a not so calm but active mind

The 16 recovers from active to neutral represents the effort spent noticing my distractions and the birds signifies my calm state.

First Session

Moving on from a couple of weeks ago to Sunday 15th April 2018 - I woke up ready for the day. It was my first full session with Michael Adu founder of Stress-Less FC. The session started off with a warm up on the treadmill - a brisk walk, building up to a jog, we would be working on Stress Adaptive Exercises which would trigger my body into a stressed state (stressed meaning - raised heart rate) and then to incorporate a deep breathing exercise after each set to see how quickly I would recover and bring my heart rate back down.

Warmup complete, next up Tabata a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout which lasted 4mins x 2 rounds, then 3 minutes of pad work (boxing) x 2 rounds. It was a gruelling session, but enjoyed it nonetheless, that feel good factor (Endorphins) after a session is always satisfying. Even though I workout regularly in my own time, I don't incorporate a lot of HIIT training exercises into my workouts so struggled a bit. After my sets were done, stretching was next on the agenda - focusing on mobility and flexibility movements to help loosen up and reduce painful muscles.


Having only achieved 28% in my induction, I was hoping I would improve my score today. Didn't know what to expect especially after working out so strenuously. Meditation commenced, I tried to focus on my breathing and nothing else - deep breathes in and out and not to let my mind wonder. I remember hearing birds on the off set, I knew that was a good thing and the weather was also rather calm. I certainly wasn't expecting the results received - I was majorly surprised as was Michael.

Results from both sessions

97% (shut the front door) Really!! Well done me. :-)

Graph showing a calm mind

That evening my body was feeling heavy from the afternoons antics, and I couldn't wait to get to bed. When it came round to bedtime - whilst laying in bed I put into practice a few minutes of deep breathing mediation, and before I knew it I had drifted into a blissful sleep. Some nights I often have trouble falling asleep so want to put into practice meditating before bed to see if helps cure those sleepless nights.

Do I live a Stressful Life?

I wouldn't say my life is highly stressful, but I do stress about silly things which I am trying to work at. My health was a worry a few years back but it's so much better now with just a few minor issues to improve. With exercise, eating right and the benefits of mediation to help focus and bring me to a calm and peaceful state its the perfect synergy of mind & body working together.

Next week I will be increasing my meditation time to 7mins maybe 10. Can't wait to see what my results will be. Will I be able to maintain a calm mind or will it decrease?  To see how I get on, please check back for my next instalment.

Remember you can get 10% off all Stress-Less Fitness plans by using reference Beibeifit when booking.

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