Exercise – I hate it, so I found a solution.

When you live in a hot climate, exercising is hard. The will to jog or pump iron in the blistering heat of a steamy summer’s day, is almost impossible to find.

Stradbroke Island
Adder Rock

Entering my fifth decade, I discovered that if I didn’t exercise regularly and followed my ever increasing sedentary lifestyle, my body and its joints quickly became stiff. The flexibility and mobility of my youth was lost. As we age, many of us find this loss might even become permanent, if we don’t find a way to move.

black and white sepia beach

Balance

Balance is also the first of our senses to deteriorate with the passing years, so it is vitally important to find a way to preserve that sense of balance, for as long as you can. How many older folks pass away or deteriorate after a fall and the consequential broken hip?

Gentle Exercise with Benefits

If you find the prospect of jogging or hard aerobic exercise unbearable, as I do, Yoga is the perfect way to begin an exercise routine and achieve some gentle movement, in your body. If you are able to devote a few minutes each morning or even three times a week, you will find that before too long, your body will begin yearning to stretch.

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Hatha Yoga

The best thing about Yoga is that it is designed for people of all ages and levels of fitness. The beautiful thing about Hatha or most styles of yoga, as opposed to the punishing regime of Bikram or hot yoga, is that it is not competitive. You work at your own pace, listening to your body, gradually encouraging it to stretch and strengthen when it’s ready.

Hatha Yoga practices are designed to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit.

https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/types-of-yoga/hatha

But don’t think you won’t get any sort of workout in Yoga if you like something more challenging. You can choose to push your limits, if you are able, but you will do it gently and safely and calmly. No stress, no over reaching your body. Just gentle stretching.

Digestive Benefits

Practising Yoga not only keeps you fit and toned, but provides innumerable benefits to the internal systems of the body as well. The many forward bending asanas, or positions, stimulate digestion and elimination.

Calming the Nervous System

Twisting poses and backbends stimulate spinal nerves, benefiting the entire nervous system but please start out small, very small, if you haven’t exercised for some time.

Yogic stretches and accompanying breathing techniqes are one of the best way to calm an over-stimulated nervous system, and with regular practice, you’re find that you are able to relax and face life’s difficulties more easily. Inversions – even as simple as forward bending and touching you toes, pump up your blood circulation and can even counteract depressive feelings.

The ancient Yogis believed that holding a ‘downward facing dog’ posture for up to 30 minutes could cure depression! Perhaps that is a stretch, (no pun intended), but I think holding a pose like this, would certainly distract anyone from feeling bad about themselves, albeit temporarily!

What is the Secret?

The breathing exercises incorporated in yoga, bring increased oxygen to the blood, which then washes through the body’s cells, rejuvenating them from the inside out. It is the squeezing and releasing of muscles within the many physical poses that then creates many of the bodily benefits.

Immunity

Yoga asanas may also affect the glands and regulate the production of hormones, something modern medicine finds difficult to control without nasty side effects. In fact, hatha yoga does wonders for all systems of the body and for your general immunity.


Even a small effort at this form of exercise is repaid almost instantly with increased feelings of well being.

daisy

With regular yoga practice, you will quickly notice how your body feels lighter, livelier and more limber.

Depending on the Yoga exercises you choose to do, you can focus on improving your balance, strength and/or flexibility and general mobility.

handstand on sandy beach

More subtle forms of yoga aid and prepare for a meditation that may relieve stress and benefit the body, mind and you, the soul.

Here is how to reduce stress via some simple meditation you can do at home.

For more specific poses for knee and back pain click here at this blog

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Namaste

54 thoughts on “Exercise – I hate it, so I found a solution.

  1. I’ve been converted to yoga for only the last couple of years. But as my 70s progress, I definitely feel the benefits of keeping up some suppleness, and ability to balance. As well as calming my fevered mind!

    Liked by 1 person

      • It is not an easy thing to do – to still one’s mind. A good teacher is wonderful. However, I feel sure there would be some good videos on the net too. A tip from me – is not to ‘try’ to meditate – think of it more as a surrendering. You won’t be able to completely block thoughts from entering your mind, but you can sit back from them, observe them, let them come and let them go. The analogy some use is as if you are sitting by a stream and watching the thoughts float by. The “silent witness.” – Sometimes, I find letting go of a persistent thought difficult and so trick my mind a little by waiting for the next thought to come, intrigued a little as to what it will be and where my mind will take me.
        Meditation does takes practice though. But the breathing techniques are so beneficial anyways! Keep me posted on your progress.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s all good advice. I hadn’t thought of YouTube et al, which is silly of me. Christmas may not be the time to start, so I’ll make it January. New Year’s Resolution Number One!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I had an aunt who did yoga and was so flexible into her 90s she could bring a leg above her head when supporting herself on a chair. I suspect she could’ve done it standing without support, but she always noted she didn’t want to risk a balance issue and fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yoga is wonderful!

    I don’t like to exercise either, especially at a gym or watching a video. It’s just not my thing. Maybe it’s the introvert in me that wants to it all alone. So I hike – alone. And I’ve started to stretch every morning. But I think I’m going to turn that into a yoga morning routine. I’ve done a little yoga and loved it!

    Thanks for the wonderful and informative post!

    ~Allison

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome, Allison and I do recommend that morning yoga routine. Once you are into the swing, it is hard not to stretch in the mornings. Look up “sun salutation” on the net – it is a 5 minute routine that stretches every muscle in your body – You can refine it to do more repititions up or down as you need. But it gets the mind and body alert for the day. Highly recommended. As for hiking alone – I can see how that would gain the full meditive benefit. Enjoying the fullness of nature without the distraction of conversation with another, but do you ever feel unsafe?

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      • So funny because I did look up Sun Salutation because I used to do it years ago. I loved doing it and your post reminded me of it. Thanks!

        Hiking and just being out in nature, especially around trees, is my meditation. I get lost in thinking about nothing and my head can clear as all I hear are my feet crunching and birds in the trees.

        I have felt unsafe at times when I’ve hiked near less populated urban areas so I’ve stopped doing that. The reason being it’s so close to town that the locals tend to hang out in these areas and party or do things I don’t involve myself in. I’ve changed to seeking out state and national parks or highly populated areas if near cities or towns. I carry a very strong gel pepper spray for regular hiking and, though I haven’t needed it yet, if I hike more remote or hike in black bear country I’ll get bear spray. And I ALWAYS tell someone where I’m going.

        Allison

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gosh I hadn’t even thought about the danger of bears, being out here in Australia – we are more concerned with snake bites. No bears to be seen, unless you mean koalas and no danger there. It sounds like a good idea to carry the spray. I do get the meditative quality that accoompanies solitude. Merry Christmas to you and enjoy your hikes.

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  4. You’e completely 100% correct. Yoga is the best exercise and stress relief there is. I am so ready to get back to it after the first of the year. Life has been in race and I’m ready to slow it down a notch. Yoga and Qi Gong can fix anything. You just reminded me how much I miss it. Thanks. Hope your holiday is progressing nicely in your new home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As I inch closer to my seventh decade on Earth, I maintain that exercise is a necessary way of life and not a dreaded obligation – like paying taxes. If you consider it more from a health angle, instead of in a cosmetic fashion, you’ll understand the significance of it. The same goes with losing weight. I’ve been an exercise nut all of my adult life; something that actually started when I entered gymnastics as a pre-teen. A previous dream had me performing as an Olympic gymnast, but alas, some visions aren’t meant to materialize.

    Exercising in torpid weather is, indeed, a challenge. In years past, though, I often went out running in the hottest weather; which is odd for me, in that I’m extremely hot-natured. Temperatures have to drop several degrees before I feel the cold. But they can rise a smidgen, and I’m warm. I’d return home dripping like a glass soda bottle pulled from the refrigerator and left out for a while. People certainly thought I was insane, and I’d tell them the heat must have gotten to my brain when I was younger.

    Over the past few years, however, I’ve let my health take a back to seat to worrying about household and career duties. That’s supposed to be the downfall of many a healthy person. I’d vowed a lifetime ago never to let my health crumble, so I persevere. I joined a new gym a few months ago. It’s what I call an “old school” joint: bad attitudes and pretentiousness aren’t permitted. They even frown if you take a selfie with your cell phone! People go there to exercise – not pose and be seen.

    I’ve never done yoga, but along with gymnastics, I have done martial arts; taekwondo specifically. I can still do full front and side splits! Just remember, Amanda, your physical and mental welfare are paramount. When you have your physical health, it makes life’s various ordeals easier to handle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So wise too are, Alejandro. I quite agree physical health is important to manage the various battles we face in going about it daily lives. I feel better physically and mentally through yoga. I can’t understand you going out jogging in the heat! If I did that here, I would suffer heatstroke. And I think martial Arts is a great way to keep fit and there is mental discipline in that too. Maybe you might give yoga or meditation a try one day. We have quite a few men attend our classes here.

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  6. A few years back I attended a seniors health fair at one of our local convention centers. Aside from all the freebee handouts and checkups, etc, there were some special guest speakers in the main auditorium. One of them was Dick Van Dyke, who despite his various ailments at his age, reenforced his motto to “Keep on moving…” Need not be scheduled workouts, which sometimes can really seem like unfun work. Very helpful post. Have a wonderful holiday, Forestwood.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Keep on moving” – that is so true. I was inspired to keep moving when I see how the older folks that were active, moved a lot freer and were more upright and energetic than some others their age. They were also sharper in their mind. That was enough convincing for me!

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  7. “When you live in a hot climate, exercising is hard.”

    Well, it’s not so easy in cold climates either :-).

    I totally agree that doing some Yoga or stretching before a workout makes it better overall. Static stretching isn’t really consider cool/effective/popular anymore (especially before a run), but I still fee better when I do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • On the contrary, I think it is easy to get moving to become warmer in a cold climate. I have much more energy! I guess we all have a different thermostat. The heat drains my energy, the cold invigorates me. And who carew whether static stretching isn’t cool. If it feels good, do it.

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  8. Hi Amanda!
    In other words… “When you live in a wet climate, exercising is hard. The will to jog or pump iron in the rain is almost impossible to find”…! Anyway I’m struggling too!
    I’ve joined an indoor fitness club last year but it wasn’t perfect either…
    This year, I want to find a way to 1/ meditate 2/ get fitter. I’m going to a free yoga day tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll find answers there…
    Are you doing yoga on your own or do you go to classes?
    Happy weekend to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Vero, I have always done Yoga on and off most of my adult life, in classes but from an early adult age, I started doing daily sun salutations, as a way to wake up in the morning and get to work on an early Nurses shift. It really helped and now it is an automatic thing – my body years for that stretch every morning. The Sun salutations stretch every muscle in your body!
      As for medidation, I know go to a class for that – after trying a few that weren’t totally what I was looking for, (but were an opportunity to hone my skills), I have now found an excellent mediatation teacher who has pearls of wisdom to share every single lesson! I love it. Beware if you attend a Bikram class. I recently wrote a post about my experiences from 2012 – since then Bikram has been prosecuted and they have re-badged it as ‘Hot Yoga.’ https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/booted-out-of-bikram/
      I was actually going to write a bit about meditation today.
      Good luck in the class. I hope you do find the answers.

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      • Good morning Amanda. So yesterday free training was great. I got to try Hatha Yoga and Iyengar Yoga.
        I skipped the vinyasa one. I wouldn’t be tempted by competitive and demanding practice like Bikram.
        Anyway, the practice I went to was at 4:15pm. Guess what, I slept like a log!
        I’ll definitely try again. I’m going to look for good videos on Youtube first and probably join the free session they organize on the beach every summer.

        Liked by 1 person

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