When it comes to exercise, I’m not unlike most folk in that I need to do something I enjoy, to ensure I stick to it. Long gone are the days when I used to pound the pavement and sweat it out in a stinky spin class, to the point I would stumble side ways off the bike gasping for breath! Nah it’s a couch and plate of hot chips for me now days…..JUST JOKING KIDS! But you could say I have grown up a little when it comes to the way I exercise. Primarily because I learned the hard way, after suffering CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, following my days as a distance runner.
Seven long years to recovery from CFS, Lupus and Hashimoto’s taught me a thing or two, including how to exercise smarter not harder! The first thing I had to over come was thinking I had to be a ball of sweat to experience any physiological benefits from exercise. I used to think that ‘more was better’ and the harder I went the fitter and healthier I would become. It wasn’t until my body forced me to stop running (due to my past illnesses), that I relented and opted for something a little slower. I have to admit the thought of slow, graceful yoga moves at first killed me, but determined to listen to my body this time, I decided to stick with a ‘lower key’ exercise regime.
For me this included yoga – I started with Hatha style in the early days of recovery (it’s very gentle and great for encouraging quietening of the mind and focusing on the breath), then progressed to Iyengar yoga (until I ended up tying my self into a knot in a chair the teacher had asked us to use as a prop and consequently took two people to physically remove me) and later Bikram yoga ( which I found a little too over heating done in 40C, for a gal with an auto immune condition where the body is already too hot from the underlying inflammation). In the end I settled with Ashtanga and power yoga as I felt it provided the right mix of athleticism and the ‘slowness’ that my body needed.
Yoga is also a great form of resistance exercise and for those who doubt me….well have you ever seen a true yogi with a bad body?
Now days I start my day with my own little yoga routine at home, it may not always be as long as an hour and a half class, but I say its better to do something, than nothing at all because you can’t always commit to the ideal duration.
I also combine yoga with some pilates, although I have a confession to make… I actually fell for one of those infomercials one night on TV – not that I am a night late TV watcher by any means, it was just one of those random things one night. But I think it was a case of ‘it was meant to be’, as I ended up purchasing a pilates reformer and I have say it is absolutely phenomenal! No really it is and NO I am not appearing as a testimonial on the next Danoz direct advert!
Like yoga, Pilates is another great resistance exercise and will focus on building muscle and the more of that you have, the more your body will become a power house for burning fat! Much more so than running for miles or spinning your little legs off! And if you are adrenally exhausted the worst thing you can do is high intensity aerobic exercise.
But my all time favourite work out has to be stand up paddle boarding! Not only because it involves the ocean (my favourite place other than dry land), but because you don’t even know you’re exercising! It’s low impact – so there’s no nagging knees down the track, it’s incredible for your core strength – hello ab’s I didn’t know were there and it’s relaxing (I find SUPing is a form of meditation for me) – what better way to exercise I say! If you want to find out more about SUPing, check out these sites below and if you’re thinking it’s too hard, think again! Anyone can master it, on flat water at least and then when you are feeling a little more adventurous, try it out on a few small waves, because it’s an absolute blast.
Oh by the way, the latest fitness craze to hit Australian shores is paddle board yoga, after being a big hit in LA! What a perfect combination I say! So if you are looking for a new way to get fit and have fun this summer, get into the great outdoors and catch a healthy dose of vitamin D while you’re at it and try stand up paddle boarding and paddle board yoga, I promise you will love it!
Remember…..exercise without eating the right foods is a waste of your time and efforts, so be sure to combine my eating program in my e-book Eat Yourself Healthy In 28 Days to get the best results.