Meditation, Weightlifting, and Mental Health

Many people consider weightlifting a kind of therapy or meditation. While I was lifting weights today it occurred to me how physically similar the two activities actually are. A common meditation technique that I perform and I think many others do too is counting your breaths in and out up to ten, then starting over at zero and repeating that process. Essentially what you are doing is counting physical movements in your body from one number to another higher number. This physical process is almost exactly identical to the physical process of lifting weights. While lifting, you are performing and paying attention to a physical movement while counting those movements from one number to another. Most people probably wouldn’t derive many similarities between weightlifting and meditation, but when you break them down to the fundamental activity they are nearly identical. Interestingly, both weightlifting and meditation are proven to be very good for your mental health. They have both been proven separately to reduce stress, control anxiety, improve sleep, and lengthen attention span. Could the physical similarities between these activities have something to do with these mutual benefits? Are they, in a way, the same activity? At the very least it’s something interesting to think about.