Muhammad Ali once said: “I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count”. Do more and overcome your strength and abilities; give it all and you will be rewarded.
Yogi Bhajan said: “Keep up and you will be kept up”
I say: “When we strengthen our bodies, we automatically strengthen our minds. Only then are we able to stand tall and look straight ahead, right into our future – a healthier future.”
No Time to Exercise? Think Again
Good news for some:
You don’t have to sweat through a 30-minute workout to get the health benefits of exercise. A study published in the January/February 2013 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion adds to earlier findings from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada that short bouts of activity several times a day can do the trick and a small study from Arizona State that showed that three 10-minute aerobic exercise sessions daily was an effective alternative to longer bouts of exercise to reduce the risk of heart disease in the study participants who were prehypertensive. The researchers, from Bellarmine University in Kentucky, found few differences between “less than 10-minutes” exercisers and those who spent more time working out. But you do have to log enough of the short bouts to add up to 150 minutes per week. The data for the study came from a national survey of more than 6,000 people ages 18 to 85 whose activity levels were measured along with their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. The less-than-10-minutes crowd had improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels similar to those who exercised for longer periods of time. You can squeeze exercise into your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and exploring similar opportunities to be active, noted Bellarmine researcher Paul Loprinzi, Ph.D.
(Thank you Dr. Andrew Weil for these valuable stats!)
Now, here’s my take on the “I have no time to exercise conundrum” -
Okay, as you’ve just read, short bouts of exercise are acceptable and certainly effective, as long as the minimal 150 minutes of moderate exercise are achieved every week. If you’re content joining the “less-than-10-minutes” crowd than you’re in good shape – so to speak. Here comes the big BUT… But, if changing your physical shape (losing unwanted weight while gaining strength and stamina), improving your mental acuity and emotional state is important, than I strongly recommend carving out more time to moderately and vigorously move and breathe – mindfully.
Two yoga studios I frequent have a phrase plastered on the walls for all to see on the way in and out the door. ” Three days a week may change your body, Five days a week will change your life.” I concur. Notice: You can chillax two days a week!
Five days of conscious moving and breathing doesn’t have to happen in a yoga room. Vigorous walking, running or jogging, swimming, biking, circuit training, kickboxing, dancing, fitness classes, working out with weights, are great choices for exercise. Yoga classes that offer a healthy balance of breathing, flexibility and quieting the mind must not be over looked. My whole health and fitness practice wouldn’t be complete without a regular yoga practice. These components of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual practice are needed to be fully available to yourself . Ultimately, with consistent practice, you will attain equanimity in the mind and body. You will be overflowing with joy, for far more than 150 minutes a week.
Fifteen years ago I would never have believed my own words; but to my great advantage I have learned otherwise. Thank goodness for age, experience and my willingness to see and feel things differently. Remember, you are the obstacle in your life; not everyone or everything else. Be inspired by the challenge to move yourself out of your way.
No Rules To Live By, To Help You Live Better And Hopefully Longer
Always take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator – always!
Smile at yourself; and share your smile with others, often. This is a serious game changer.
Drink warm water with lemon 3 times everyday, first thing in the morning most importantly
Focus, focus, focus. Do one thing at a time, do the best you possibly can, finish what you start, and take pride in your accomplishment. Size does not matter.
Sit quietly alone, for a minimum of 5 minutes daily without any connection to the world other than your own mind. Observe, and listen to the sound of your breath. Feel the energy of this precious life force move through you.
Lay on your back with your legs up the wall or invert your body in some other posture for 5 minutes or 25 breath cycles
EXERCISE everyday for a minimum of 30-45 minutes. Be sure to include resistance and stretching/flexibility exercise 3 times a week. Practice here
Practice pushing your self up from the floor every single day with a proper push-up. Practice here.
Clip on a pedometer; this little device is also a major game changer
Get outside for 20 minutes and breathe in nature. Connect with the earth you stand on, feel the space and energy that fills and surrounds – leave your phone inside to charge (this suggestion works nicely with the next one)
If you have a dog, walk or play with him/her for 20 minutes, without exception. You brought your four-legged friend into your home and life – value and respect their time on this earth with you
Be sure to nourish yourself generously with fresh organic greens, citrus and berries – AMEN!
Brush your teeth and floss after every meal
Make a deliberate and conscious connection with someone outside of your work, just to say hello, chit chat and share.
Sleep seven to eight hours every night without interruption.
Hug another person everyday and tell the people you love that you love them
Drink tea instead of coffee throughout the day and evening. Herbal decaf teas after dinner, always!
Read, learn, discover and read some more. Practice here
Practice kindness and compassion until you feel it, live it. Practice here
Try to live by “The Four Agreements” Practice here
Remember, You are the only obstacle in your life; not everyone or everything else. Be inspired by the challenge to move yourself out of your way. (Notice, this is the first and last suggestion on my list)
Always love, Allison