All month, we’ve been covering ways to shake off a funk, and no activity is naturally better to energize a fuzzy brain than exercise (even if it’s gentle movement).
In fact, I encourage you to take it nice… and sloooow right now. We’re cautiously tip-toeing forward from a very stressful time, so give your body and soul time to heal.
Low impact exercise can be just as beneficial to your health as traditional workouts while offering you a blissful zen you may not find blazing a trail up a mountainside or swimming in a relay.
Why The Slow + Steady Tortoise Was Right
I have noticed a growing trend among womxn recently that exercise is either all or nothing. Either they are killing themselves at the gym, sweating for 2 hours a day, or they stay home and on the couch.
Ladies, listen up: All or nothing always leaves you with nothing.
Movement and exercise are not a punishment–it’s essential to your overall health! In fact, I consider it one of the Vital Foods that feed your body and soul. And you can fit it in whenever and however best fits your schedule.
An exciting study recently showed that people who practice gentle movement regularly still see cardiovascular benefits and are “much less likely to develop heart disease than people who rarely move”. So if you’ve been avoiding exercise because you feel too out of shape right now, there is no excuse for not taking a morning stroll around the neighborhood or a good long bike ride.
Just pick something fun. Gentle movement is as much about engaging your mind as it is your muscles. 😉
Add It Up
As I always say, a one-size-fits-all workout simply doesn’t exist. Instead, it’s more important to tune into your body and introduce activities that make you feel jazzed to get out of the house and refresh you as a result.
If you’re looking to boost your brain, focus on balance, flexibility, and aerobic fitness. So that could mean you find one type of exercise that encompasses them all, or switch it up throughout the week to keep a good balance of each component.
According to a University of Minnesota, at least 150 minutes of movement per week can improve not only your health but your mental performance and mood. That may sound like a lot of time, but a brisk 1 hour walk outside, twice a week is already 120 minutes of moderate intensity exercise.
For those additional 30 minutes, I have a few suggestions below…
Yoga is the perfect gentle movement exercise because it combines stress relief with balance and muscle toning. And since you’re probably doing a lot of sitting at home right now, your muscles could do with some serious stretching.
Adriene Mishler’s popular Yoga With Adriene is like a yoga compendium for beginners to full-fledged yogis. Her YouTube channel is filled to the brim with playlists of all levels and lengths. I recommend starting with her 10-20 min Yoga Practices playlist. If you have more time, check out this full-length grounding sequence to help you manage uncertain times.
6-Minutes To Crush It
Micro-workouts are really popular right now, so if you’re looking for something spicier than a morning walk, check out these short routines.
If you have an Alexa, you can access The Six-Minute workout from The New York Times. It’s designed to get your heart pumping and your muscles toned “in the time it takes you to make your coffee every morning”. Click here to learn how to enable it on your smart speaker.
And even though the weather is starting to warm up in some parts of the country, you can still indulge in a few of my favorite winter workouts. Find the list here.
I’d love to hear from you about what kinds of gentle movement you incorporate into your fitness routine. Post your favorite activities in The Badass Beauty and let’s create our own community playlist.
LOVE + peace!