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Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

A longer version of this post (with 5 ways to relax) first appeared here at Attorney@Work.

relaxation sitting reflection statue

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Relax: re·lax (rəˈlaks/) v. make or become less tense or anxious.”Being tense and anxious can make you worried, uneasy, irritable, exhausted and even susceptible to illness, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, gastrointestinal ailments and depression. And, as we all know, life is stressful and can make you unhappy.

So, We Must Learn to Relax

Clearly, relaxation is good for you. The benefits of lessening tension and anxiety are enormous. It makes you think more clearly, work more efficiently, handle stress better, and live as a nicer, happier and healthier person. Of course, a two-week vacation with no responsibilities and no calls from the office or home would be great. But be serious, that in itself would be stressful. What would be happening back at home and the office?!? A better idea is finding ways to relax, to rejuvenate both mind and body, with small amounts of time.

Meditation and yoga are two ways to take a “mini-vacation” with minimal time. Meditation and yoga allow you to control your mind and your thoughts, especially when you can’t control the other things happening in life. It helps relax your mind and body by focusing your thoughts on your breath during the practice and lowering the levels of the stress hormone Cortisol.

Ideally, you’d practice meditation and yoga every morning. Meditation can be easy to incorporate into your daily routine if you begin with breathing meditations, where you sit quietly and focus on your breath. Start with as little as two or three minutes a day. Or, if your mind tends to wander, try guided meditations where you are “talked” through the meditation so you can focus only on what the speaker is saying. Daily yoga may be more difficult to incorporate, so make it a weekly goal. If you can’t make it to a class, use an app such as Pocket Yoga. And if you only have five or 10 minutes, do a short series of sun salutations with focused breathing. You can search YouTube to learn sun salutations.

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runner-race-competition-female.jpgIt’s May. Springtime is finally here. This month, while I’ll continue my Earth Day projects, I’m focusing on Being Great. To me, that means being healthy, being present, participating in my community, nurturing my relationships, and contributing to others.

On Being Healthy: I started my health goals earlier this year in February, and took them up a notch last month by joining a small running (actually, jogging) club. We have a coach who sets individual schedules for us, and we check in each day via Messenger regarding our times and how we feel. What this has taught me is the importance of an accountability partner.

I don’t like running/jogging. But I’ve improved and jogged a 5k on Earth Day with my club members. I’ve run in the rain. I’ve run in the snow. I’ve run when I didn’t want and didn’t have time. Because I knew my accountability partners were doing it, so I couldn’t just shirk my duties.

Most people will let themselves down, but letting others down is less likely to happen. I’ll discuss my other health goals in later posts, and how you can achieve your goals too, but, as you think about your goals, also consider who would be a great accountability partner for you. It makes a world of difference if you have a friend on the journey with you.

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So I’m taking the 40 Days of Fitness challenge and have been doing some form of fitness activity each day. Yesterday was busy and it was 1:00 am (which was actually today, but details!) before I got to my fitness activity. So I did about 10 minutes of static squats against the wall. It burned so that is a good sign. I intended to do Dr. Oz’s 7-Minute Workout yesterday, but didn’t get to it until today. I must say I was a bit skeptical, even after I watched the video. But tonight I did the exercises (at 7:30 pm, not 1:00 am!) and it is a good workout. Heavy breathing, heart rate up, muscles fatigued (ok, maybe I’m just out of shape). But I like the workout (it is yoga-based) and I can’t really ever say I didn’t have time to do a 7-Minute Workout, so I think I will add it to my basket of fitness tips to keep. Try it out too!

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40 (actually 36) days of fitness: Day 35

Day 35 (counting backwards): All I could fit into my schedule yesterday was 100 crunches and 10 minutes of yoga. And it was at 11:45 pm last night! But I did it! Still, I am proud of myself for doing something – anything – to keep me on track for 40 Days of Fitness. Anything is better than nothing, right?! I seem to recall a link to a 7-Minute Workout in the Livestrong blogpost. I’ll check that out and maybe do that today, on Day 34. It’s looking like I am on track for another near-midnight fitness routine. Sigh…

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I am a goal-oriented person. I like to achieve. I am able to accomplish work projects, and DIY home projects, and personal projects by setting a goal and a deadline. It works great for me. I am not so great at keeping up with a fitness routine when life gets really busy (it always seems really busy these days). So when I saw this challenge at Livestrong.com, I knew it was perfect for me. It is a 40-day (well, at this point, a 36-day) challenge to do at least one fitness-related thing each remaining day of 2012. Here is the heart of the challenge:

Thanksgiving marked 40 days left in 2012, and I want to make them 40  Days of Fitness. Rather than fall apart in the home stretch like most  people, we can fight back. How?

By making one healthy choice every day.

That choice could be to work out, or it could be to stand by the veggie tray  instead of the cookie tray at a holiday party. Maybe you’ll be able to get in a  long run, ride, or gym session, or maybe all you have time for is Dr.  Oz’s 7-minute workout. Or perhaps your healthy choice will be to relax with  a massage or gentle yoga routine to de-stress from holiday shopping madness.  What you do will change from day-to-day. But throughout these 40 Days of  Fitness, we’ll commit to making our own health a priority -no matter how hectic  things get.

Why is this so important during these last 36 days of 2012? You already know, of course, but here it is, laid out specifically:

[S]tudies show that the average American gains about a  pound to a  pound-and-a-half during the period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. With  parties and family events tying up our time, keeping us out of the gym and often  in front of cookie trays, we tend to eat more–and move less–during this time  of year than at any other period.

Worse yet: Most of us never  lose that extra weight. It accumulates over time. Multiply that  pound-and-a-half a year by 20 years and you’re 30 pounds overweight.

Dogs on a hike

Emily & Samantha

So I started today. I power-walked/hiked a local trail with my dogs this morning. It was only a 20 minute trek but it would have made me sweat if it wasn’t 30 degrees outside. And now I’m drinking a cup of detox tea while I tell you about it.

I’d like to say that I’ll blog every day about my next 35 days, but life is busy right now (just like for everybody else), so I’ll keep you updated as time allows. I hope you will join me and Brian Sabin (the creator of this challenge) on our Days of Fitness! Let me know what you are doing!

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In his book The Complete Guide to Natural Healing, Tom Monte states that humans were built to walk. Walking is a wonderful exercise that doesn’t feel like work and is free. A half hour’s worth of walking conditions the entire body by exercising the muscles, heart, and respiratory and circulatory systems. It also provides perspective while you walk off tension, or can provide time to catch up with a friend or partner if she or he is walking with you.

Have you been hesitating in starting a new exercise regime? No need. Just go for a thirty minute walk, every day if possible. Make it the first step in your new attitude toward exercise.

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I really like the Eating Well blogs; I always find helpful information there and I almost always agree with the advice. Today is no exception. Brierley Wright has a great article on chronic inflammation, what it is and how to avoid it. All the tips are simple changes to your diet and guidance for an exercise regime. Her ten ways to beat inflammation are:

  1. Increase Omega-3 fatty acids and reduce Omega-6 (i.e. add salmon and olive oil to your diet)
  2. Practice yoga.
  3. Consume soy.
  4. Get a massage.
  5. Limit trans-fats and saturated fats.
  6. Eat green leafy vegetables.
  7. Keep stress at bay.
  8. Sleep at least 6 hours each night.
  9. Exercise often.
  10. Drink green tea.

Read the entire post here.

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