Your Health and Quality of Life Depend on It!
No matter how well you eat or how much water you drink, no matter how many supplements you take, none of these things will take the place of exercise.
You must do some type of exercise every day. For the greatest overall health benefits including stress reduction, 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week is essential.
You also need some type of full breathing practice as well as muscle strengthening activity such as free weights or fitness machines.
Adopt the mindset that you can exercise anywhere at any time — at home or in the office.
Take fitness breaks throughout the day. You can spend 3 – 30 minutes mixing it up: Stretch, bend, squat; rebound; jump rope; walk; try a treadmill desk or a fitness ball chair!
Gravity is the unseen, powerful force that is with us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, holding us on the planet. It is vitally important that we, as humans living in a gravitational force field, do anti-gravitational movements, in other words, stretch!
If you observe animals, you’ll notice, when they awaken they stretch. It’s their instinct that moves them. We need to reawaken this instinct in us. An easy, whole body routine should be followed daily as a positive compensation for each days accumulated compressions.
TIP: Never bounce into a stretch instead use steady relaxed movements to work into a full extension, allow your breath to flow easily and naturally during the stretch, and finally, do not force a stretch, rather extend yourself into the movement.
BREATHING LIKE A BABY
Breath is life and life is breath. You would think that as we grow older and wiser we would automatically be better at doing what comes naturally — breathing. Wrong. We need to relearn how to breathe as we once did as babies and young children.
For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.
~ Sanskrit Proverb
Starting each day and closing each evening with this simple breathing practice will enliven the day and soothe your sleep. This is an immediately effective stress reduction strategy too! Conscious breathing will bring you to a neutral point of situational awareness creating a harmonic edge when dealing with stress.
Sit or stand erect (proper physical posture is important) through the entire exercise and lift both arms above your head, open them to a 45 degree angle with palms facing each other. Maintain this position while fully breathing out through the mouth and then inhaling through the nose. Practice this breathing method for 3 full breaths and then lower your arms and relax. Repeat this exercise at least twice more.
Without food, you can live for 60 to 80 days, without water for 5 to 7 days, and without oxygen 3 to 5 minutes on average. Breathing is much more than inhaling and exhaling. With each inhalation, there is an intake of oxygen or life giving energy (prana) and with each exhalation there is a release of carbon dioxide or waste (apana). Incorporating this daily breathing practice will promote a more natural breath throughout the day, reduce stress, improve your health and increase your energy. Here’s a great article by Gretchen Cruda for NPR — Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever.
EXERCISE SMART: If you have had surgery especially open heart, knee, hip, back or shoulder check with your health practitioner before starting an exercise program. If you are just beginning an exercise routine or have been inactive for a while, start with less strenuous activities such as conscious breathing, swimming or walking. Beginning at a slow, comfortable pace will allow you to naturally become physically fit without straining your body. Once you are in better shape, you can gradually expand the length and intensity of your workout.