Do you feel pressured to exercise in your life.
Do you think that you need to commit to only one form of exercise to get fit.
Do you use intuitive exercise to enable you to fulfil your personal needs rather than an external goal. Do you adapt your exercise to suit your requirements so there is enjoyment, fun and an enjoyable outcome for you in the process?
This morning when I awoke, I realised the stiffness in my back wasn’t going anywhere – so I took myself to the local swimming pool. Listening to my body, I know that intuitively, I needed to swim and spend some time in the heat.
I wasn’t there to chase the fast lane, so slid down into the rather cool pool water and deliberately stayed in the slow lane for a mindful swim. I had listened to my body and its needs on arising and decided that this was the way to fulfil it. Today was all about breast stroke. I’ve been combining the front crawl and it on my swims more recently but this was about intuitively listening to my body and taking its needs into account.
Slowing everything down I was able to hear the water as it sloshed around my face and ears as I pressed my face down, fully into the cool. Making sure each movement in all the strokes became accentuated so that I was in tune with the stiffness and my need. Controlling my breathing to match my pace – I decided that I would manoeuvre around any other person in my way, to create my own purposeful intention on this occasion. As I pulled my face out of the water I ensured I slowed, breathed in deeply, before once again pulling myself forward and through the water – just below the surface tension.. Breathing out through my nose. I began to create a pace to suit my needs – I could still feel a slight twinge down my left leg as I moved but remained in constant motion for the whole time, turning early when others in the lane had slowed to talk and speeding up slightly to overtake when needed. Today. This was all about my need. I swam constantly for 30 minutes before finally feeling looser and refreshed. I then made my way over to the jacuzzi.
Here, I was able to enjoy the feel of the bubbles on my back – easing the muscles a little more, as I was fortunate to sit alone. The pool cycle ended and I moved into the sauna.
Here I sat for a couple of minutes – allowing its warmth to penetrate my muscles. Bending over I was able to stretch out comfortably for a couple of minutes and I could feel the heat seeping into my bones. Oh boy it felt good!
A few simple precautions to have sauna safety are important for healthy people and heart patients alike.
- Avoid alcohol before or after your sauna.
- Don’t overdo it; 15 to 20 minutes of a sauna is a reasonable time limit for most folks.
- Cool down gradually afterward. Although some cultures advocate a plunge into cold water, it produces considerable circulatory stress and should be avoided.
- Drink 2 to 4 glasses of cool water after each sauna. Above all, listen to your body.
- Don’t take a sauna when you are ill, and if you feel unwell during your sauna, head for the door. A cool head is the best way to keep your hot sauna safe and enjoyable. Harvard Medical School
The one thing I do differently is I step under a cold shower after I’ve come out of the sauna. I like the way a cold shower feels and always appreciate the extra boost it gives my mental health. Much better than taking a dose of vitamins. I walked out of the fitness centre today, feeling healthier and happier in under two hours.
Yesterday – I completed a morning yoga routine at the bottom of my garden out in nature. I knew that to get me going for the day yesterday, yoga was needed – some mornings it’s a beach walk. Some days its yoga on the beach or trail running in my local park or woods. Mostly, I jump on the treadmill in a hot conservatory and then jump in a cold shower after. On other days, when the tide is in I swim in the sea or I might also play netball. Or a good game of golf with my hubby!
The most important thing is that you listen to your body and give something a go, a really good go and see if you can incorporate it somehow into your life.
Move with joy.
This may seem like a shocking concept, but whatever exercise you choose to do, make sure you actually enjoy it! Exercise should never feel like torture. You should always feel good, energized and accomplished. Remember the more you experience joy while exercising, the more you will be willing to do it — and the more you do it, the healthier and more amazing you will look and feel. MindBodyGreen