No matter your fitness level, it is important to perform some type of physical exercise every day. When we wake up in the morning or from an afternoon nap, it is beneficial to stretch out and move the entire body. There are a host of fitness programs that are designed to do just that, gently and effectively.
If you are on bed rest, with any form of mobility, you can try some of the fitness videos created by Richard Simmons. He has a YouTube channel with lots of quick videos or you can search for his full workout videos, or pick up any of your favorites on Amazon.com*.
Another option is Sit and Be Fit, a PBS fitness series geared toward seniors…but don’t let that fool you. I have tried this workout on numerous occasions and it is quite a workout. Anytime you work your muscles in a new or different way, you feel the effects. At the time I was doing mostly high-intensity cardio workouts and working my muscles more slowly, in this low intensity way, gave me a workout that I could really feel. Mary Ann Wilson, RN, the host of the show, has a YouTube channel as well. You can search her website to find out when her show airs on your local PBS station.
It is also important to note that there is a load of scientific research that shows the body responds the same way to imagined physical exercise as it does to actual physical exercise. When you imagine yourself doing an exercise routine, in the same sequence you would if you were performing it physically, and repeat it over and over again — because you perform the exercise much faster in your mind than you would in real life — you trigger your muscles in the exact same way that you would during physical exercise.
So it’s helpful to imagine a workout, if you cannot actually perform one. It is also helpful to imagine yourself feeling your best and doing an activity you enjoy. This is one of the easiest ways to help your body achieve improved health. Imagining in this way affects not only your physical body but your mental well-being as well.
A third option, that is also a great fit for those who work out at a high-intensity level to add into their fitness regimen, is Classical Stretch. This is one of my favorite exercise programs, ever. Miranda Esmonde-White, the creator of this fitness program and the host of the show, is a former ballet dancer and does an amazing job of helping you to stretch and lengthen your body in ways that increase strength and mobility, while helping to ease any aches and pains emanating from sore joints, tendons, ligaments, or muscles. This program airs daily on most PBS stations; search for local showtimes in your area here. She also has a YouTube channel called Essentrics®. There is a second fitness channel on YouTube that may be her original channel; it has a few videos available. Or, you could purchase any of her DVDs directly from her website.
An even gentler, more ancient approach is Qi Gong. According to the National Qi Gong Association (NQA), Qi Gong is an “ancient Chinese healthcare system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.” My two favorite programs are available on YouTube and for purchase. The first is Qigong…and 14 movements, by Keiko Murakumo (YouTube | Amazon.com*). On days when I either can’t fit in a workout or don’t feel up to it, this always does the trick…and more. Because it is focused on the systems of the body, after doing the 14 movements I usually feel absolutely amazing. I know that when you move energy through the body effectively that sort of thing happens, but it never ceases to amaze me just how effective it is. The second program is from PBS. This gentleman, Lee Holden, is usually featured during PBS fundraising drives. My first introduction to his videos was 7 Minutes of Magic, a great a.m. routine. You can also check out his website for more options.
No matter which program you choose, just remember to go at your own pace and to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments along the way, even if no one else does. 🙂 Also, if you are exercising to a point where you work up a sweat, remember to replace the minerals that you sweat out. Click on the “Mineral Supplementation” link in the side bar for some options available from Youngevity. One of my absolute favorites is Pollen Burst™.
As always, best of luck to you in all of your endeavors for a healthier you and a healthier life!
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