At Home Exercises to Keep Fit During Quarantine
Moving your body is important on so many levels. During this time of social distancing, maintaining fitness should be a top priority, along with good diet and stress mitigation. And it’s entirely possible to get a stellar workout, without all of the expensive equipment.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, seven-time Mr. Olympia and action-hero extraordinaire, said, “There are a lot of things we can’t control during this crisis, so we need to focus on what we can control.”
He said, “Gladiators and Vikings didn’t have gymnasiums. I started my own fitness journey with chin-ups on a tree branch by a lake in Austria.”
If the idea of pumping iron, a la Arnold, doesn’t do it for you, get into yoga during this time away from society. While any kind of sport or exercise can be food for the body, mind, and spirit, yoga guru BKS Iyengar said, “Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.”
None of these activities require a gym, and they can all be done at your own pace. Or, if you’d like, you can follow online videos of expert fitness teachers. There are plenty of great yoga classes online taught by a variety of dedicated and experienced teachers.
Six Facets to Consider for At-Home Workouts
Make sure you’re healthy
Whenever starting a new workout program, it’s highly recommended that you first visit the doctor for a checkup.
These exercises help with blood circulation and include some degree of increased heart rate. If you haven’t exercised in a long time, it’s good to get back into cardio gradually to build up your endurance, without putting too much strain on your body.
Moving all of your body parts, including head, neck, feet, hands, arms, legs, and torso are important to get lymph moving throughout your body. Lymph glands help remove toxins from the body and can be stimulated with exercises that cause muscle contractions.
Deep breathing is amazingly beneficial and has been practiced for thousands of years in the older parts of the world, such as Asia and India.
Stronger muscles grow when we put them under strain (not enough strain to cause injury, of course). Then the body is forced to repair the muscle fibers so that they rebound stronger and larger. With stronger muscles, it’s easier to balance. Two of the greatest benefits is that using weights also strengthens the bones, which helps to stave off osteoporosis.
Balance and Sports Performance
We’ve learned a great deal about exercise over the last few decades — it’s become both an art form and a science. Even if you are sequestered at home, you can still work on strength, conditioning, and balance, so that you can excel at your favorite sports activities when you next engage in them again.
Yoga Checks All the Boxes
Just over a century ago, yoga masters began to travel to the West to spread the practice of yoga. By the 1920’s Hatha Yoga was strongly promoted in India with the work of T. Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda, and others. Today, yoga practice is a worldwide phenomenon, and the reason is easy to understand: anyone can do it, and no equipment is needed. Of course, there are fancy clothes, mats, blocks, and balls that can enhance your workout, but none of these are absolutely necessary to the discipline.
Yoga’s benefits are unparalleled — increased flexibility, better muscle strength and tone, greater respiration and vitality, weight loss, improved cardio, superior balance, and even protection from injury. There is even evidence that yoga reduces inflammation when practiced regularly. Yoga is a mind-body exercise, which makes it helpful for reducing stress, thinking more clearly, increasing focus, fighting depression, feeling happier, calming down the mind and body, reducing anxiety, and even feeling more altruistic.
Getting Started With Your Yoga Practice
If you are patient and easy on yourself, yoga is rewarding from the very beginning of practice. Of course, beginners may feel awkward, unsure, or rigid, but this is to be expected.
Yoga is all about poses. As you go along, you learn where your strengths and weaknesses are, and your balance increases. When you can go out into the world again and find a yoga teacher, he or she can help make little corrections in your practice. It’s a work in progress. But if you want to know how to get started, the answer is simple: Get started now. Sign up online and go for it.
Gaia’s yoga videos offer much more than just a taste of what yoga is like — they offer hands-on experience from expert teachers representing different schools. And if you want to go beyond yoga, or add other forms of exercise to your stay-at-home program, Gaia also offers other fitness content, including pilates, Tai Chi, Qigong, and many general workout classes, as well.
B K S Iyengar once said, “Yoga saved my life. I took it up for my health, and then I took it up as a mission.” Now you can take it up for your own reasons — whether it’s because you’re stuck at home, in need of at-home yoga workouts, or you just want to give this Eastern art form a try.
Researchers Find Gut Microbiota and Mental Health Connection
Groundbreaking new studies are revealing the connection between gut health and mental health.
Researchers have known about the connection between the bacteria that live in your gut and the brain for some time, but when it comes to how closely they’re connected science has just scratched the surface. Now in a systematic analysis published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review researchers looked at 26 studies that assessed the role gut biology plays in anxiety and depression.
The findings showed people with anxiety and depression had different levels and types of microbes in their gut, compared to people without anxiety and depression. The digestive tract of people with anxiety and depression contained more pro-inflammatory bacteria species and had less of the type of bacteria that help regulate the central nervous system.