For my first blog I wanted to talk about the importance of exercise this time of year.
Here today in Lincolnshire the sun was shining, it was 8c but dry. We went for a fantastic walk along the Sea Front, nothing too strenuous, just enjoyable and the sunshine was medicine itself. It was actually my idea which is odd because to tell you the truth I’m not that big on exercise. I never have been really. I don’t get the buzz that a lot of people get from cardio exercises. It usually leaves me feeling light headed and then quite depleted. But a walk along the sea front always makes me feel happy and the fresh air was very stimulating. I don’t normally venture outside if the temperature dips below 5c because I find the cold air aggravates my throat and chest. Being an ex-opera singer it was always a sensitive area for me. So, my exercise ideas change. Instead I will go to the gym and walk on the treadmill and then go on the bike. I also love yoga, so I sometimes do a class at the gym or even do sessions at home with a YouTube yoga video. The other motivation I have is a Fitbit One. Being quite competitive in nature, it spurs me on to do my 10,000 steps and more each day. The newer Fitbits also remind you to get up and move which I think is a great idea. All phones nowadays have apps that count steps so why not try them out? You can even compete with friends.
If it is wet and miserable outside there are lots of exercise ideas you can do inside, it’s not a one-size-fits-all activity.
Put on your music and dance
Dance with the kids. The little ones love to dance with their parents.
Walk up and down the stairs a few times.
Even housework is great exercise. I like to listen to the radio while I clean.
If you can’t walk for any reason, move your arms. Maybe a swimming motion or even upper body dance moves, there are plenty of ideas again on YouTube.
Maybe you think you don’t have time to exercise because of work?
If you have a sedentary job then you can get up from your desk and walk around a bit, even if it is to go to the loo.
Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.
Take the stairs not the lift.
Go for a walk during breaks.
The idea is to get your air moving, your breath.
I sometimes get a foggy head in the Winter. I call it my tired head.
When this happens the first thing I do is get up and move. It would be quite easy for me to just take a nap but that really gets me nowhere. I only wake up feeling worse. If instead I jump up and down and shake around my breathing improves, my lungs start working and voila I don’t feel tired anymore.
In the Winter months, it is important to take every opportunity you can to get moving.
I’ll now talk a little bit about Ayurveda and the Winter season.
In Ayurveda the mid to later part of winter when the weather is cold and usually wet is known as Kapha Season. The name comes from one of the 3 dosha types in Ayurveda (Kapha, Pitta and Vata – another blog topic) but Kapha Season will effect you no matter what body type you are.
Even though winter brings a time of rest, reflection and staying indoors, it can also seem a bit oppressive, and have a heaviness to it. This can leave you uninspired, stagnant, congested and maybe a little depressed. This is Kapha Season.
Kapha is dominated by the Water and Earth elements. If you mix water and earth you get mud which makes sense that this energy is heavy, sticky, cold, wet but also nurturing.
Exercise is one of the best ways to get optimal physical and mental health through the winter months. It improves digestion and your metabolism and can leave you feeling light, warm and very happy indeed.
Why not give it a try? You might even like it and feel great.
Please remember though – If you are concerned about how much exercise and what type you can do. Consult your health Practitioner.