Low Impact Exercise Benefits
Good morning!!!! I hope everyone is having a happy Tuesday. So, did we relax over the weekend? Did we just have a chance to enjoy some nice weather? Did we just reflect on what we want to accomplish? Or did we just follow a familiar routine of watching too much television and sitting for too long? Are we just tired of the bombardment of information? What benefits can possibly come from taking a walk, not power walking, at a relaxed pace for an hour?
We often get confused, tired of researching, and just finally give up and give in to old habits. We hear one minute of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) being the exercise regimen of the moment, then it’s too risky. We switch over to weight training or low impact, then we jump yet again to some other regimen and eventually, we just get tired and give up. I know that over my twenty plus years of working out, of teaching psychology and group fitness classes, or of just dealing with daily life tasks, I get bored. I get tired and give in to a little temptation.
I have spoken of reduced risk of injury with low impact exercise programs. This is crucial as we get older because now our bodies don’t react or respond the same way. Our health professionals advise us ladies to watch and protect against osteoporosis. We start noticing more aches, more stiffness, etc. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can stay strong, balanced and healthy no matter what the chronological age of our bodies. We just have to work through the boredom. We have to choose what information our brains receive.
We have also spoken of our brains transmitting and receiving information. If we choose what we allow into our thoughts, we have some control over messages we transmit, do we not?? Well, yes and no. Sometimes the information (non-verbal) is transmitted through our subconscious. We often don’t even realize the messages we are sending as they become so autonomous, it is like our breathing. We don’t think about breathing. Our bodies are designed to do this action automatically. So, just as we try to change other negative habits, we must also break negative thought patterns.
Taking a leisurely walk can help in many ways. It helps you reconnect with you!!!!! It allows you to disconnect from technology (to an extent, that extent which you allow disconnection), and if you do have a phone with you for safety reasons, then make sure you stick to that plan. Don’t sit down on a rock in the middle of the woods to check the stocks or to check email. Focus on the nature and the walking. Now if you are hiking and there are substantial hills along that path, then at least for that period of time, you have to remain disconnected and focus on breathing.
Low impact also allows us to move in a conscious manner so that we can stretch our minds, our muscles, and really listen to our bodies. We can key in our thoughts to just the feeling of releasing tension. Sometimes, this is very beneficial, because if we are not used to focusing on release, then we really have to engage the mind to get to the end result. Yoga is a tremendously beneficial exercise regimen that creates that focus. So, whether you are trying to relax, focus on breathing, or trying to build strength; yoga is one of those multi-functional activities.
As we get closer to cooler temperatures, being forced to spend more time indoors in the northern tier of the country, and as we near the holidays; think long and hard about how that time is spent. This is the time when we typically enjoy friends, family, eating, drinking, and over indulging more in a subconscious way. This year is particularly stressful as we are being advised to very carefully choose family gatherings, if at all. We are dealing with much higher than normal anxiety and stress this year, so now more than ever, it is important to focus on health and well-being.
Take time to enjoy the cooler air, the smell of fall, the time of year when we begin to semi-hibernate. Try a new low impact regimen such as yoga. Try a tabata class. I have done the tabata workouts and they are well-suited to adaptive moves. Tabata is much easier to tailor to your fitness level than a high intensity interval routine. Try a class with stability balls, if you are capable. Try to vary your workout routine to reduce boredom. Remember, we don’t have to always go all out, every time. Mix and match. And as always; stay focused, stay hydrated and stay healthy!!!!!