FITNESS & LIFESTYLE info, news & updates…
Hi and welcome to another great week of Complementary Fitness classes.
Just to let you know that Bridge Road is OPEN again … yay! Good news.
“Optimism does not mean being blind to the actual reality of a situation. It means maintaining a positive spirit to continue to seek a solution to any given problem. And it means recognizing that any given situation has many different aspects—positive as well as problematic”. (from @DalaiLama)
“Don’t be afraid of failure or slow progress” (S Zelnick) Just keep going.
“Wellness is more than healthy eating and physical fitness; it also encompasses self-reflection and mindfulness” (S Carter)
With that ‘in mind’! (ha), what does wellness mean to you? Let me know …
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Great for relaxation, blood flow and to ease legs and back:
I’ve mentioned before but if you lie on your back on the floor up against a wall and keeping your head and back on the floor, swivel/swing your legs up the wall to help you relax and increase blood flow to the brain. Close your eyes and have your arms either by your sides or your left hand just below your ribcage/sternum and your right hand on your abdomen. It’s a restful position and it’s so relaxing and good for your legs.
Another totally relaxing option is to lie on the floor with your calves resting on a chair and if you want to try this, place a chair at the base of a yoga mat. To add more comfort and warmth, you can also put a folded blanket on top of your yoga mat that’s on the floor.
Lie down on your back on the mat/blanket with glutes (buttock muscles) near edge of mat with legs bent at 90 degrees and your calves resting on the chair. You could also fold over and wrap a second blanket or towel over your shins/lower legs to keep the muscles completely relaxed and keep yourself warm. Lie down with your arms by your sides, palms facing up and hold for 5 to 8 minutes to totally relax.
At the end of Friday’s class last week, we all got a chair and tried it, closed our eyes and took a few full and deep breaths in/out.
Ok so other inversion options which are still great for the legs, blood flow etc – but a bit more challenging, include ….
You could progress or try a shoulder stand – again where you lie on your back, bend your knees towards your chest then straighten your legs up to the ceiling. Use your hands to support your lower back, with your upper arms pressing into the floor or a yoga mat and your fingers pointing up. Keep your chin tucked to your chest and breathe through your nose. If you feel stable, slowly walk the hands up the back so your weight shifts toward your shoulders, minimizing your contact with the mat. Hold the pose for a few breaths then ease yourself back down again. Inversions improve circulation, digestion, and oxygen flow to the brain, and they’re really beneficial for runners and lifters because being upside down increases blood flow to the legs. Practice a shoulder stand after a tough workout to ease soreness and help torn muscle fibres heal.
A variation of the shoulder stand would be to bend your knees towards your chest then lengthen them over your head (or keep your knees bent) and flex your feet and try and reach your toes down to the floor – in the pough pose. You can also lengthen your arms along the mat and maybe clasp your hands together. Phew! To come out of this and the above shoulder stand variation, bend your knees and slowly lower each vertebrae to the floor (and of course, releasing your lengthened arms too).
A handstand / prep for a handstand variation:
(prep in my case, I don’t think I’ve ever done a full-on handstand!):
I started with my hands on the floor and walked my legs up the wall (obvs facing towards the wall) until my legs were straight and my toes were against the wall.
(to ‘come out of this’… bend your legs and walk your legs back down the wall to the floor).
A couple of times, I attempted a full handstand but only managed (ok I admit it… I need to practice) to take one foot from the wall and lengthen up to the ceiling. I didn’t feel confident enough to take both feet from the wall but who knows…. one day? hmm
Did you know that there are lots of articles on Dr Vogel’s website including What are the best foods to eat during winter and Winter warmers – foods to support your mood and weight
included in the list are: oats, kale, sweet potatoes, oily fish, cinnamon, mushrooms, beetroot, Brussel sprouts, pumpkin seeds and berries.
I love soaking porridge oats overnight in almond milk then cooking it in the morning and I’ll add some cinnamon (for flavour and it’s also great to support blood sugar levels), and I’ll add pumpkin seeds and berries and maybe a spoonful of peanut butter or a few nuts – sets you up for the day.
Who doesn’t love mushrooms on toast or a delicious hearty warming winter soup or a baked sweet potato? These are, in my opinion, ‘comfort foods’ that make you feel warm, full and cozy. Did you know that mushrooms contain a vast range of nutrients, ie the antioxidant selenium and energy-promoting B vitamins. Mushrooms also act as a plant-based source of vitamin D. You can read about the benefits of all of these winter-warming foods in the articles/blogs on the website.
I hope that you’ll continue to work out with me/us and continue to maintain your strength, flexibility, fitness levels and generally, feel great and enjoy all of the exercise benefits that we discuss. I love getting all the positive comments from you so keep them coming. Well done and keep up the great work and commitment and let me know how you’re getting on generally and with your fitness, diet and lifestyle (incl mind, body, meditation, sleep, rest).
Take care, see you soon.
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