NuYu’s very own Susan Rappaport and Lisa Gurley visited the CBS Studios to provide tips on how to incorporate breathing, stretching, yoga and Pilates poses into your everyday routine.
After years of dieting, I had an epiphany. I needed to walk away from them!
My switch from dieting to exercise began slowly. I began jogging slower than most people walk, but that jog made me whole again, and exercising was the vehicle that got me there. I do not measure my exercise like I used to do with my food. I just show up and do the best I can. It never fails me, as when I work out with thoughtfulness and mindfulness, I never regret it.
Though sometimes I struggle with getting there, I promise myself that if I can just get there, it’s good enough.
Stressed, anyone? Whether it’s work, responsibilities, relationships, or the same old nonsense, stress is toxic! Sure, you’d love to motivate yourself to take up a meditation practice, yoga class or some other endeavor that promises an effective retreat from the weight of daily pressures, but who has the time? Running to the beat of a constant to-do list in life puts us in a state where our brains are constantly churning in thought like a mouse on a hamster wheel…
If you are overwhelmed by your to-do list, your job, or other things that do not truly serve you to be freaked by, why not take a deep breath?
If you stop, focus, and take a deep and cleansing breath, your eyesight gets clearer and colors are brighter… we see more beauty. Experts are increasingly recognizing the value in, and recommending, breathing exercises to relieve stress and to reap the benefits of deep, life changing physical rewards. Breathing exercises create positive changes that help improve conditions as severe as asthma, depression, and heart issues.
Breathing exercises improve lung function by “stretching” airway tissue and inducing the release of a protective chemical known to maintain airway integrity. Deep breathing also shifts the body out of sympathetic nervous system control and into a parasympathetic mode, which is a healthier, calmer state of existence. An ongoing practice of reducing stress through breathing preserves the immune system, keeps blood pressure low, keeps the heart rate in check and leaves us more centered and healthy. Breathe That In!
To begin a practice of breathing for your health, where you will be able to recognize changes in your overall well-being, take a week and do the following:
Find a quiet place where you can lie down on you back in a comfortable position and put your hands on your chest and stomach.
- Inhale through your nose slowly, filling your abdomen so that your belly rises and reaches away from the spine.
- Hold the breath for a second or two and then exhale through your mouth with your jaw slightly hanging down just enough so that your lips are slightly open.
- Exhale slowly, taking nearly twice as long to release the breath out.
- You can repeat in your mind, “I’m inhaling 2, 3, 4”, then pause at the top of the breath”, “I’m exhaling 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8” pause at the bottom of the breath and begin again. You can Increase your number count as the power of your breath strengthens, as long as your entire body stays soft and relaxed)
- Focus on your breath until you feel your stomach rise and fall more dramatically than your chest with each inhalation and exhalation.
- Do 4-8 breath cycles upon waking up in the morning, midday and before bed everyday for a week… you will experience the benefits.
Let it be soft and organic, without trying too hard. Simply lay yourself down and breathe. Breath work has the ability to make you calmer in your life, forever changing the quality of your physical, spiritual and mental well-being.
Below Are Some Of The Benefits of Deep Breathing:
– Increases vital energy of self-healing and detoxifying
– Accelerates regeneration of tissues
– Speeds recovery from trauma, illness and disease
THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
– Aids in relief of respiratory difficulties
– Opens up the chest to make breathing easier and fuller
– Maintains body balance and expels CO2
– Improves blood circulation and relieves congestion
– Increases flow of oxygen to organs
– Eases the strain on the heart by increasing oxygen flow to the heart
THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
– Calms chronic anxiety
– Healthfully stimulates the nervous system when fatigue is present
THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
– Proper diaphragmatic action massages the internal organs, significantly aiding their function
– Calms emotions that affect the parasympathetic nervous system including rest, digestion & healing
THE LYMPHATICS SYSTEM
– Increases depth and continuity of lymphatic fluid circulation
– Helps speed recovery after major illnesses
– Connects your mind and body
– Improves coordination and grace and self-awareness
– Releases and reduces muscular tension that causes structural problems
– Helps increase flexibility and strength of joints
– Reduces wrinkles due to improved circulation and blood oxygen flow
– Results in radiant skin at any age
– Improves mental concentration and observation
– Lowers stress levels creating more clarity
- Stimulates a greater learning capacity
– Produces profound relaxation and inner peace
– Strengthens coping skills
– Heightens intuition
– Balances energy systems
– Regulates intensity of orgasm
– High relaxation levels and self-love bring more desire
Maybe you've been there. You find yourself overwhelmed by sticking to a fitness routine. You deeply want to succeed, but it's so challenging at the start that you can't wrap your head around doing it on a regular basis.
And as if that's not enough, when you go to a gym you're surrounded by people who are already fit, making the entire experience more uncomfortable and intimidating. For these reasons, many join gyms for a year... go for a week... and then never return, blaming themselves for failing.
But this DOES NOT mean that fitness is unattainable for you.
It just means that fitness delivered in this way, doesn't resonate with you. If you didn't fee. comfortable, and didn't know what to do while you were there, then why would you go?
Luckily, all approaches to fitness are not created equally. Seek out an environment that offers the right combo of warmth, encouragement, a variety of classes and knowledgeable instructors. The odds of you succeeding will grown exponentially.
Then, quiet the inner nay-sayer. The mind can ramble endless lists of reasons why not to work out, before every workout. Expect it, and be ready for when you hear it reminding you how little you like to exercise and that you have no time for it, you'll hear it, but won't listen to it. Don't allow that voice the power to stop you. You actually don't even have to like exercise to do it regularly!
Commit to just showing up and let the workout be secondary. If you can just get there regularly, the cycle of exercise will begin.
Building a foundation for a relationship with exercise is a process that requires self-care, time and support. Move through the work mindfully caring for your body, at a pace that feels harmonious to you. Working too hard, too fast shocks the body and can be a turn off to exercise. So, slow down, because if you go, your'e going to get fit anyway.
Honor the rhythm of your own true self. Be mindful, take classes and learn what it is that you like. Stay active, walk, dance, move and keep on keeping on. We gain strength in life when we make time to strengthen our bodies. Keep it simple. Find a friend or a place that will help you stay accountable. Don't push so hard. Applaud the little things, and remember that fitness comes in all different shapes, sizes, moods, levels and speeds.
Follow these 10 tips to help bring ongoing fitness into your life:
1. Embrace being a beginner.
2. Strive for a routine that is attainable.
3. Create a realistic fitness plan you can live by and commit to.
4. Find a workout partner or class to help hold you accountable.
5. Just show up! Especially when you want to skip it.
6. Make it a habit, like brushing teeth.
7. Do something fitness related daily, even if it's only 5 minutes.
8. Stick with it. Building a habit takes 66 days.
9. Give yourself permission to work at 1% if that's all you've got.
10. Let fitness meet you where you are and grow from there.