1. Choose an Exercise That Works Best for You
Some choose to exercise because they aim to lose weight, others exercise to look good, while some do for its overall health benefits. Whatever may be your reason – it is essential that you are able to maintain the motivation to put in the work week-in and week-out.
With the massive plethora of workout regimes and types of exercises on the web, it can quickly become overwhelming to pick one that works best for you. To help you on your journey to fitness, we have put together a list of guidelines that will aid you in picking out an exercise that suits you best:
Get a Fitness Assessment – Complete a one-mile walk and record your time and pulse rate. Write down the number of situps or pushups you can do in one set. Take a note of how far you can reach beyond your knees with outstretched arms. Measure your waist and calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). You can use this information to track your progress well over time.
Go to A Doctor – A comprehensive physical examination will help you immensely in deciding what exercises you should avoid pursuing due to your current health (eg – if you are overweight, your doctor will suggest avoiding exercises that place extra strain on your leg joints). With expert help, figuring out which exercises work best for you to meet your fitness goals becomes much easier.
Set Your Fitness Goals – Think about why you want to start exercising. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to muscle up? Do you want to concentrate on specific body parts or a complete fitness regime? Do you need to recover from an injury? Or are you training for an event such as a marathon? Knowing your primary goals can not only help you choose the best fit program but also help keep you motivated.
Choose Activities That You Enjoy – What are the activities that you feel doing the best? If you like to dance, consider joining a dance class. If you like being on the water, take up rowing or swimming. If you like riding a lot, then cycling might be for you. These are all excellent ways of working out, and linking your interests with your exercise program will make it much more likely that you stick to it.
Consider Your Budget – Gym memberships and fitness classes can put a significant dent in our pockets. The expensive gym equipment and high charging fitness experts are not a necessity if you have a desire to get fit. Thanks to a large no of free exercise classes and workout videos online, we can easily learn how to improve our health without having to splurge big money.
Whichever exercise regime you may choose to pursue, what matters in the end is that you don’t feel stressed out and find joy in your journey towards a fitter lifestyle.
One such exercise that unites your body, mind and spirit – all the essential elements for living a holistically healthy life – is Yoga.
2. Why Millions Choose Yoga Every Day
Historically, Yoga has been more than just a form of exercise – it has been a way of life. It is an ancient philosophy, a tradition rooted in a physical culture of health and well-being that is practised by over 15 million people each day.
A major reason why Yoga has been such a universally acclaimed exercise regimen is the tremendous positive impact it has on not just our body but our mind and spirit too. Every Yoga asana (pose) has multiple health benefits that nourish us physically and mentally. The downward facing dog, for example, has the effects of calming our brain, energising our body, improving our digestion, strengthening arms and legs – all while being very therapeutic for high blood pressure.
These asanas have a direct and perceivable impact on our physical and mental health, but the consistent practice of Yoga as a whole provides us with many more benefits than we might think.
Why Yoga Is So Good for You
1. It grounds us in the present – So many of us are stuck worrying about the past and future. Plus, we spend the majority of our waking life immersed mindlessly in our cell phones. Yoga helps us unplug from our worries and distraction to calm the mind and find our path to happiness in the present.
2. Lowers stress and improves mood – The meditative quality of Yoga asanas help us quieten our mind-chatter, alleviate stress and relax better. Practising breathing techniques also increases oxygen flow to our brain which helps boost happiness and contentment levels.
3. Lowers risk of injury – Exercises such as running, cycling, working out with gym equipment – all have a high risk-of-injury factor to them. Moreover, strenuous exercises can cause imbalance among opposing muscle groups. Yoga exercises are patient, equipment-free poses that focus on holistically balancing your body’s core.
4. Helps with weight management – Yoga poses are an exercise and all exercise help burn calories. Even less vigorous styles of Yoga however can help us control weight by reducing stress, making us more mindful of our eating habits, boosting our self-esteem and fostering a heightened sense of wellbeing.
5. Increases flexibility and mobility – Yoga asanas safely stretch the muscles and soft tissues in our body. This increases the range of motion in the joints and enables us to move more freely. The more Yoga we practise, the easier it becomes for us to complete everyday movements like kneeling, bending and reaching, which makes us much more agile and mobile.
6. Improves posture – Yoga helps us regulate our weight, makes us more flexible and improves our muscle strength. These factors greatly improve our posture as our abdominal and back muscles become more toned. It enables us to sit and stand more easily and reduces aches and pains considerably.
7. Ease of practice – The beauty of yoga is that it can be practised pretty much anywhere, on your own or with other yoga enthusiasts. The only equipment you might require is a yoga mat, and the motivation to become a healthier, happier individual every day.
8. You become a part of a lineage – By choosing Yoga you are choosing to become a part of a tradition that has been enriching lives for centuries. You become a member of a wholesome community that shares your enthusiasm for a fitter lifestyle all around the world. It is very healing to be able to share our pains and gains and to get to channelise them into a happier life through this wonderful medium together.
3. Yoga For Busy And Time Poor Professionals
Some of us lead too busy a life to be able to give proper attention to our health. Very often, we are looking to incorporate a good exercise routine in our daily schedule but find it hard to take the time out to go to class or follow an online course.
But the good news is, you don’t necessarily have to book a significant chunk of your daily calendar to enrich your body and mind. There are simple time efficient ways to ensure that you get some much-needed exercise. In fact, Yoga is the best exercise option for health-conscious individuals who struggle with time management.
Here are a few small but effective ways how you can find the time to conveniently include some Yoga into your everyday schedule:
1. Get out of bed 5 minutes earlier
Start by taking out just 5 minutes off your sleep time. You can practise a simple yoga pose during this time or just do some Yogic meditation. Not only will your physical body be more alert and awake, your mind will be calmer and more focused throughout the day too.
Once you get good at doing this for 5 minutes every day, you can gradually extend the duration to 10, 20 and 30 minutes.
2. Do Yoga while you wait
Every morning when our coffee brews or our bread is toasted, or when we are waiting to commute through a bus or taxi, instead of having to wait in mindless boredom, we can do about 2 to 5 minutes of basic Yoga. We can work on our balance by shifting our weight on one leg, or do a light stretch and raise. We can also practice simple breath awareness meditation technique to help calm our mind and gain clarity.
3. Take an extra 5 in the bathroom
If you feel uncomfortable doing these Yoga moves in public, or have a hard time getting up in the morning, take an extra 5 minutes on your routine trip to the washroom. If your private area allows plenty of space, you can try holding a posture or two, or just concentrate on your breathing motions. No one will be bothering you with unwanted inquiries too.
4. When sitting through a boring presentation
Use your imagination to picture a golden light surrounding the presenter. It makes our mind less lethargic, focuses our attention and literally lifts up our spirit as we give our thoughts to this divine spiritual light.
5. Desk Yoga
Interlace your fingers behind your lower back and gently stretch your arms away from your body as you squeeze your shoulder blades together and look up. Enjoy that lovely stretch across the front of the shoulders and chest. Not only will this counterbalance the forward bending posture of working at a desk, you will also expand the energy at your heart space – the perfect afternoon pick me up.
4. And Be Sure to Eat Well
No type or amount of exercise can erase the effects of a bad diet; so support your exercise with intelligent food
It’s astounding to see how many gym fanatics do not pay enough attention to eating a healthy diet too. And then they are perplexed when they are not able to see the “gains” that they had wished for.
It’s a very simple idea – No type or amount of exercise can erase the effects of a bad diet. Which is why it is so crucial that you support your exercise programs with intelligent food
Eating right is the ultimate requisite to losing weight, toning your muscles and having a healthy gut overall. To fastrack your ride towards your fitness goals, it is essential that you also direct your energies towards a proper meal plan.
And always keep in mind that exercising is a form of expressing gratitude towards your body, and not some punishment that you must bear through for eating wrong. We must approach our exercise routines with positivity and optimism towards a healthier future instead of negativity and repentance towards the expired past.
5. Getting Started – Would You Go with Yoga?
Millions of people around the world rise to practise this great ancient tradition that has enriched many lives for centuries. Join them and find out why.
Register for a Yoga Class with us or take up a Yoga Course online if you are situated outside Melbourne. Let’s unite your body, mind and spirit in beautiful harmony.
Dr. Rani Samant
Registered Ayurvedic Practitioner & Natural Fertility Management Specialist, Natural Detox Consultant
Founder of Ayurvedian Health care
Dr. Rani Samant is registered ayurvedic practitioner, ayurveda educator and natural fertility management specialist.
Rani’s consultations and informative and outcome driven. In addition to her firm roots of Ayurvedic medicine, Rani also has deep-seated understanding of the Australian healthcare systems and modern patient care approaches.
Upon securing strong work experience and training throughout globally renowned hospitals, completing her post graduation from Monash University, Melbourne, her love and passion for Ayurveda only strengthened. She firmly believes that Ayurveda holds the answers to life.