I've been exercising since childhood. I was lucky enough to be encouraged and supported in this area of my life. I quickly realized the benefits it brought to my daily life: better energy, flexibility, body awareness and a certain self-love. I've always loved sport and the outdoors. Today, I hope to inspire a little courage and self-love in you, to solidify your will to exercise every week. So here's how I organize my week to maintain optimal overall health:
I never go without my full yoga routine (about 40 minutes) twice a week. There are all kinds of ways to do yoga, for big and small, pregnant and injured. Find out more online to find the best solution for you. Making yoga part of your life means raising the quality of your life.
Some of the many benefits of yoga:
- Reduced anxiety and stress.
- Increased strength and flexibility
- Improved sleep.
- Improved cardiovascular health.
- Improved brain function.
- Enhanced immune system performance.
- Weight loss and improved posture.
Ten minutes' meditation every morning: I include this as an exercise because it requires as much effort and willpower as any other physical exercise. Indeed, for one reason or another, meditation is very difficult to integrate into one's daily routine, despite the fact that it's so easy to do. Yet meditation brings all the benefits of a good physical exercise and much more... it improves the general functioning of all our body systems, greatly reducing stress levels and harmonizing our relationship with ourselves. This dose of self-love that we give ourselves helps us to heal ourselves of many ills.
Mini yoga routine 2 or 3 times a week. It's mostly floor exercises and stretching to keep my body supple and alert. There's also a nice relationship period in Savasana (lying on your back, arms and legs slightly apart from your body).
Small efforts to connect with your body and improve your physical health should never be underestimated. Poses like Savasana have an impact on your health. It's a legitimate effort that connects you with yourself. It may be the only exercise you're able to do in a day, but it's the conscious decision to do it that will help you do more tomorrow; because you're able to, because you connect with your body and it relaxes...because it makes you want to move a little more afterwards. One simple gesture leads to another, and so on. It's the beginning of becoming aware of the life we live through our precious vehicle, our body.
Jog once a week. I need this more intense effort to feel my heart beating and to really get out the anxieties and frustrations that are lodged in my body. It's a way for me to push myself, as I have a knee problem and a weak back. In that sense, jogging isn't necessarily recommended, but 25 to 30 minutes a week helps me push my own limits and improve my self-confidence.
Mountain walking. I live in the city, but I'm lucky enough to live in Montreal, a city with lots of green spaces. My mountain walk is on Mount Royal, once a week. I'd love to take refuge there more often. Unfortunately, my busy schedule doesn't allow it. All the same, this sacred moment of an hour or so is essential not only to stay in shape, but also to fill up on the healing vibrations found in nature.
A little background information: in the 80s, Japanese doctors studied the therapeutic and medical benefits of walking in the forest, and what they discovered was very interesting: trees and certain herbaceous plants give off phytoncides, a group of volatile organic compounds.
Regular exposure to phytoncides is said to have all kinds of medical and therapeutic benefits. It was for these reasons that Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries coined the term "Shinrin-Yoku", literally "tree bath", and decided to encourage people to immerse themselves in the forest. literally "tree bath", and decided to encourage people to immerse themselves in the forest.
Tree therapy, or sylvotherapy, is effective for all kinds of ailments, both physical and psychological.
The benefits of phytoncides include lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) and heart rate, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory and strengthening the immune system.
Although sylvotherapy isn't a curative practice in itself, and therefore doesn't have the capacity to cure diseases on its own, it does have a positive effect on anxiety, mental health and stress problems, as well as on cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. In short, walking in the forest pays off and is so much fun.
Reducing stress, anxiety and frustration through exercise has a beneficial effect not only on yourself, but on others too. This is another excellent reason to exercise regularly. When people around us receive kindness, they carry it within them and give it back in return. It's a circle of goodwill that affects us all. This energy improves our physical, mental and emotional health. It's the key to a fulfilled life. So why don't you get started on your weekly exercise routine?
That's what my weekly exercise routine looks like. What's yours?