What's your relationship like with exercise? For me, I like to think of my time working out as a sort of meditation, because moving my body really does center me and clear my mind. And it turns out, one of my favorite Disney Channel stars from back in the day just so happens to share my mindset on exercise. I'm sorry that I'll always think of High School Musical when I see your name, girl, but I have to say, Vanessa Hudgens' thoughts on working out are not only on par with how I view my own workout routine, they're also inspirational for anyone who might be struggling to stay consistent with their own regular wellness regimen.
Again, I've always thought of movement as a genuine form of mindfulness, never as something that's meant to restrict my lifestyle or punish me in any way. And in a recent interview with Women's Health, Hudgens echoed some of these same sentiments as she opened up about how she takes care of her body and boosts her confidence through a committed, yet incredibly balanced workout routine.
The 29-year-old actress revealed that she works out a whopping six days a week, but she mixes things up between cycling, pilates, ballet, circuit-based HIIT classes, yoga, and hikes with friends, according to Women's Health. She told the outlet,
Leaving the room knowing that I’m stronger than when I got there helps boost my confidence. Working out is like moving meditation. I feel you can work through things better in movement than being stagnant. You’re pushing through and surviving, and you know you will succeed and get through it no matter how uncomfortable it is. That spills into life, ’cause then you can walk into things with more certainty that you’ll end up all right.
If that's not the most empowering and stunning description of how challenging your body and moving mindfully is supposed to make you feel, then I don't know what is. Hudgens' words speak straight to my soul, you guys.
Here's the thing: Hudgens' healthful approach to exercise all comes down to the fact that she's so rooted in viewing her workouts as "moving meditations." If you're kind of confused as to what that term actually entails, though, it's simply about allowing whatever movements you're doing to shift your being into a calm, peaceful, yet highly aware state. According to Yogapedia, while moving meditation typically entails gentler practices such as yoga or tai chi, the term can truly be applied to any form of movement or exercise, as long as you're in the right mindset.
You can turn a long run into a meditation, or you can try Hudgens' route of transforming everything from ballet to high-intensity interval training into mindful forms of movement. In other words, there are really no limits in terms of which workouts can be considered a form of meditation. Though, if you need some slightly more specific guidelines to work with, a 2016 study published in the medical journal Translational Psychiatry found that combining meditation and aerobic exercise is linked to reduced feelings of depression, which also generally goes to show how beneficial the combination of these two things can really be.
As for Hudgens, her refreshing perspective on exercise and wellness is clearly doing wonderful things for her overall health and state of mind. The actress, who's currently a year shy of 30, told Women's Health that most of her 20s felt like it was all about finding her voice. These days, however, she told the outlet, "the biggest thing I’m trying to implement in my life now is valuing my words and letting them be known.”