Monday, January 20, 2014

Exercise of the Week...Meditate!

Why?  Meditation is no longer just for hippies or fringe yogis.  It's for you and me, and it helps to relieve our STRESS...see article above.  One of the changes you can make is to add this to your daily regimen.  But it doesn't need to take a ton of time.  Do you have one minute?  Then you can do this.
Here's an easy form of meditation, taught to me by my martial arts Sensei.

Sit comfortably, anywhere, but preferably in a quiet place if you can.  Time 60 seconds.  A watch, a stopwatch, or an app that will time you from your phone will all work.  Breathe.  Count each inhale and exhale--inhale is one, exhale is two, inhale is three, and so on.  See how many breaths you take total in 60 seconds.  Try for full and deep breaths that expand your rib cage.

Good.  Now you are ready for a 1 minute meditation anywhere, anytime.  Let's say you got 12 breaths.  Anytime you are in need of calming, you close your eyes, you count your breaths to 12.  Voila.  1 minute of meditation.  You have successfully taken your mind from whatever was stressing you, to your breath, and taking full deep breaths for 1 minute.  Try this once a day.

Monday, January 13, 2014

I challenge you to try:  Jumping Jacks!

This week, jump for joy, and find your inner child!  Try interspersing them into your regular workouts, in between the weight lifting or strengthening exercises.  As pictured, you jump out with your legs, and bring the hands up over your head= one jumping jack.  Or, try a 1/2 jack low impact, arms come out to the sides, and you do one leg at a time.  Either way, it's a great way to invigorate your workout.

I challenge to try 25 of these little lovelies!  Have a great week!

Yoga Pose of the week:  Reverse Plank

This pose is great for toning the entire body.  As in any plank pose, the body is held in perfect alignment.  The palms are down on the floor, with the fingertips facing forward, if possible.  The toning benefits are concentrated on the posterior kinetic chain (the back side of the body), including the triceps and shoulders.  Come up from a seated position, hold for 10-15 seconds, and then release.  Perform 3-5.

Sunshine for your soul...

What is sunshine for your soul?  What makes you happy?  Spend at least 15 minutes every day this week doing something you really love.  This sounds easy, but isn't necessarily--do you get caught up in chores and other activities that seem to take precedence?  Do you get distracted by the computer, or the television?  Have you thought about what you really love to do, what gives you utter joy?

It's time to consider planting a seed that you can nurture each day, building up a store of internal happiness.  This will help you to handle all of those other distracting items on your agenda, and even help you to help others better.  Because when you take care of yourself, then you have the reserves to take care of others.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Stop Saying "I wish", and Start Saying "I will".

Your quality of life is up to you.

You decide how to handle those set backs and obstacles along the way.

Do you make lemonade out of those lemons?  Or do you give up at the drop of a hat?

Perhaps I sound like a broken record.  When I teach a spin class, I remind participants that the magic is right there in front of them, in the form of a little red knob.  That knob controls the resistance on your bike.  You can choose to make that light and easy, or you can choose to work harder.  It just depends on you.  I'm here to make suggestions that hopefully will work, to guide and to motivate.  But ultimately, your choices are your own.

I see inspirational things every day, from the client that struggles with degenerative disease, and still gets up every day and works hard to maintain or improve whatever she can, to the people who slog in to every workout, regardless of how they feel, because they know they need to keep moving forward, to the folks who get all of their ducks in a row and lose the weight they need or want to lose, in a healthy way, finally realizing their aspirations.  These people remind me every day to keep moving myself forward;  to strive for the best that I can accomplish.

But you can be one of those people right now.  How do you do it?  You just do.  You don't give yourself time to question why.  You don't wish but never do anything about it.  You don't think too hard about it, you stop saying I wish, and start saying I will.  And then you do.