Enjoying Exercise

anatomy-of-walkingWhether or not it’s part of your weekly routine, everyone knows that exercise is good for you.  What’s the best form of exercise?  The one you do!  Seems simple enough – if you enjoy the exercise, most likely it will become a lifestyle habit.

Good health is all about balance.  Eating non-inflammatory foods, exercising often, getting enough sleep, reducing stress and laughing are all important for good health.  Overexercising can be just as bad as not exercising and chronic cardio can be very stressful for the body.  Getting adequate exercise doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym or on the treadmill.  Mark Sisson wrote a great post about the benefits of low level aerobic activity that includes a wide variety of activities.  In this interview, Sarah Fragoso talks about moving away from the rigors of Crossfit to a more minimalist approach.

Like many people, I struggled for years to find the right exercise for me.  I had my periods of PX90 and Crossfit (just the warm up phase was very challenging!).  While I experienced benefits in the short term, I couldn’t keep either up for the longer term.  I know that lifting heavy things is important for good health and strong bones, but I just can’t get excited about time in a gym.  I’ve often been envious of others who have found their groove with regard to exercise.

I finally found what works for me.  I love walking outside and because I enjoy it, I’m able to consistently get out there a few times a week year round.  In the winter, I enjoy snow shoeing as an alternative.  I listen to audio books or music on my iPhone or just enjoy being mindfully present and moving my body.

Lotus Yoga PoseThe other exercise I love is yoga.  It was something I wanted to do for a long time and finally started a year ago.  I go a couple times a week to a studio with great instructors and have moved back and forth between Level 1 and Level 2.  I like the slowness and attention to form you get from working on the poses at the introductory level and I always get a great workout regardless of which class I choose.  The other huge benefit for me has been the meditative aspect.  It took a while, but I’ve learned to leave my various thoughts at the door and focus for the hour on moving my body correctly into the poses.  My naturopathic doctor had been advocating the benefits of breathing deeply and yoga has taught me how to do that and provides a great opportunity for practice.  The poses build strength and flexibility and everyone works at their own ability level.  There is emphasis on being non-judgmental – of yourself, your abilities on any particular day and of your neighbor.  I especially love the balance poses.  Accomplishing balance requires focus, clearing your mind of disruptive thoughts and using your body purposefully.  What a great feeling when it all comes together!49 X01HMTA4NDhfWW9nYV9TdGFuZF8wOC5qcGc=

Exercise shouldn’t be a chore or “work” really, but the opportunity to move your body in a way you enjoy that helps you achieve good health.  Sports, walking, yard work, dancing, swimming, biking, yoga are some great choices.  Experiment to find what works best for you to keep moving on a regular basis!

 

 

I am grateful each day for wellness, happiness and the opportunity to share with you.