Sunday, August 14, 2011

Get up and stretch!

Today I'm sharing some links to get help you get up off the couch or out from underneath the air conditioner vent! And because you may not be in shape or used to exercising right about now (heat makes exercising even more challenging, so many people just give up on doing it until the temps fall some), these exercises are really little more than stretching. That's manageable, right? In fact, if that is all you do while the summer heat rules, you will be doing yourself more good than you realize. So, if you have given up the exercise ghost, how about just stretch?

I googled stretching exercises for seniors free online videos and got a bunch of good links. If you are not a senior or that annoys you somehow, then re-google without the word. But it never hurts to do those kinds of exercises, at first, if you haven't been active in a while. And if you have any physical limitations, this filter might actually be better for you to begin activity.

If you grow tired of just stretching, then google for what you think you can handle next. You can also just go to YouTube and search. If you have Netflix, which is not free but is quite affordable, did you know that they have workout videos available for instant tv access? Check out the Genres tab, then click on Sports & Fitness. Most of the videos are in the Workouts subsection, but there's 10-Minute Kickboxing under the Martial Arts subsection. What I usually do is one of the many "dancercise-type" videos for aerobics, as well as their yoga videos. The basic beginner yoga positions are merely isometric stretches and nothing more. Just do the ones you can, but do them again and again. Soon you'll be able to handle more complicated positions.

I plan to explore Netflix's many pilates videos very soon, but for now I'm happy with these two beginning exercise types of yoga and dance. For me, the yoga videos are a precursor to the pilates, because of my body's limitations. Your mileage may vary, of course, as I am physically hampered by my five Arthurs (arthritises).

In my Dr. Weil newsletter today, I found this article:
"It doesn't take much exercise to help reduce your risk of heart disease. A new review of 33 earlier studies on the benefits of exercise found that people who get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week reduce their risk of heart disease by 14 percent compared to inactive people (150 minutes comes out to 30 minutes a day, five days a week). Of course, more is better, and with additional physical activity (five hours of exercise per week) you can lower your risk by as much 20 percent (again, compared to inactive folks). The review found that women benefit more from exercise than men, but the researchers aren’t sure why and have suggested that the difference may be due to a statistical quirk. You might also achieve an additional risk reduction of five percent if you're up for exercising 12.5 hours per week, but the researchers conceded that the extra five percent may not be worth all that added effort. The study was published online August 1 in Circulation."

The evidence grows that you don't have to push yourself to extremes to reap health benefits from physical activities. Just with what I have shared with you, there is now no excuse to stay on that couch, people!

I'll leave you with this thought: we live in stressful times. Our problems cause us stress to think about them, yet they cause us stress not to, as well, whether we admit it or not. If you avoid the stress by unplugging from current events (The Ostrich Effect), perhaps all you need is a little stress-busting activity to handle that stress. Things always feel less negative when the endomorphins kick in. You can engage in the responsiblity of citizenship AND be happy. My friends, trust the expert:
Elle advises: "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy."