Five Great Ways To Stay Fit & Healthy At Home
Perhaps your home is already equipped with an exercise room, featuring a treadmill, rowing machine or indoor exercise bike. Maybe you have a set of dumbbells or kettlebells; a mini-trampoline; or some weighted fitness balls or resistance bands.
This kind of equipment makes it easy to stay healthy and fit right in the comfort and safety of your own home. However, it's also possible, to get an excellent workout without any specialized equipment.
Read on for some great ideas for staying fit in your own home that require no extra equipment at all!
1. Do Some Simple Yoga Poses
Yoga poses are one great way to stay healthy and fit, and most of them require no extra equipment. They can easily be done right on the floor, or by using your existing furniture as makeshift props. Here are a few great ones to begin with …
Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose to Nourish Body & Mind
Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose is one of the most therapeutic of all yoga poses! Here's how: Simply find a place where you can lie down on the floor (carpet is best) and swing your legs up against the wall. It's fine if your legs are at an angle, just find the distance away from the wall that feels most comfortable, and allows your legs to be fully extended.
With your legs up the wall, interlace your fingers behind your head, letting your elbows relax outward toward or onto the floor. Or, in you prefer, you can rest your arms on the floor near your hips, or place the palms of your hands on your belly. Rest here for five, ten or fifteen minutes—to calm your nervous system, energize your legs, and rejuvenate all of your internal organs.
Seated Yoga Poses To Do While You Watch TV
Do some seated poses while you play video games, watch TV or a movie. Instead of reclining onto your sofa or easy chair, sit on the floor in one of these hip-opening and health-promoting yoga poses (follow the links for photos and more detailed instructions):
* Easy Pose, with your legs crossed. Over the course of your hour-long TV show, or two-hour movie, make sure to change the cross of the legs (right in front vs. left in front) several times. You can also alter the distance between your knees, for additional benefit.
* Hero Pose, sitting your hips down between your feet. As you watch your movie or Netflix series, toggle back-and-forth between Hero Pose and Thunderbolt Pose—where you're sitting right on your heels, rather than between your feet.
* Bound Angle Pose. This is one of the best poses for hip health and flexibility. As you enjoy your movie, sit upright on the floor, with the soles of your feet together and your knees dropped toward or onto the floor. It's fine also to sit up on a cushion or folded blanket, for added comfort.
Yoga Sun Salutation For Full-Body Wellness
The yoga Sun Salutation sequence is a fantastic way to wake up your entire body, first thing in the morning, or at any other time that you'd like!
Traditionally, the sun salutation is used to begin a longer yoga practice, but it's also great as a short stand-alone practice, especially if you repeat it several times.
It is called "sun salutation" because it's used to greet the external sun at dawn, as well as the internal sun of awareness: the core of our being, our most essential identity. We acknowledge the importance of the sun to our physical survival, while also celebrating the awake presence—the vibrant aliveness—flowing through our eyes, that we share with all living beings.
Don't worry if you can't complete the entire sequence right away. Feel free to modify the various movements, doing what you can while maintaining the inner attitude of celebration and gratitude.
As you become more comfortable with the sequence of movements in the Sun Salutation, use this more detailed explanation to deepen your practice, adding more refinement and subtlety.
2. Take A Brisk Walk Around the Neighborhood
Fresh air, sunshine, and the natural beauty of the trees and sky in your own neighborhood have much to offer to your overall health and wellness. A brisk walk once or twice a day around the block, or to a neighborhood park, is a great way to receive these benefits.
You can also run or jog, if so inspired, but walking can be just as beneficial. For added cardiovascular benefit, walk quickly. To harmonize your mind and calm your nervous system, walk at a more leisurely pace.
3. Get Up Hourly From Your Desk
If you're working at your home desk, make it a habit to stand up, walk around, and/or do some yoga poses once an hour.
You can even use your desk as a prop for a modified Downward Dog or Plank Pose. Simply clear some space on your desktop, where you can place the palms of your hands. Now step back until your arms are fully extended, with your head dropped between your upper arms and your hips right above your feet. In this position—what we might call the Table Pose—your back has become an extension of the desktop. Stay here for a minute or two, enjoying the nice extension of your spine.
After a couple minutes of Table Pose, stand upright in the middle of the room, with your arms relaxing at your sides. Now, with an inhalation, slowly swing your arms to the side and then up over your head. With the next exhalation, return your arms to your sides. Repeat this 10-15 times, allowing the movement of your arms and your gentle deep breaths to become seamless.
4. Consciously Release Tensions
Our health and fitness depends not only upon exercising our muscles, but also upon knowing how to release unnecessary physical and mental-emotional tensions. Here are some excellent ways of doing this:
* Take a long, slow inhalation. Hold the breath for a second or two, and then say "ahhh" as you exhale slowly and completely. Repeat three or four times, feeling how the "ahhh" relaxes the muscles of your face, neck and jaw—and releases also any mental or emotional tensions that are being held in those physical tensions.
* Enjoy a ten-minute meditation, once or twice daily.
* Practice a progressive tensing and relaxation of all of the muscles of your body. Curl your fingers tightly into fists, and then relax them completely. Curl your toes tightly into "foot-fists," and then relax them completely. Tense every muscle in your body as tightly as you can—and then relax them all.
5. Maintain A Positive Attitude
Maintaining a positive attitude and optimistic outlook has all kinds of proven health benefits. Even something as simple as a gentle smile can improve our health in both subtle and profound ways.
According to the experts at Psychology Today, a gentle smile transforms our body's biochemistry in all kinds of beneficial ways. In short, maintaining a gentle inner smile tends to make us both physically and emotionally healthier!
So, find things to be grateful and appreciative about, and focus on these. Consider keeping a gratitude journal: Every night right before falling asleep, write down ten things that you appreciate about your life, that you feel genuinely grateful for. Drift off to sleep within this healing energy of contentment, gratitude and appreciation, and notice how it supports the sweetest of dreams, and a more comfortable waking-up in the morning.
The Bottom Line
From within the comfort and safety of your own home, you can, with a little creative inspiration, remain physically active, healthy and fit. Have fun!
Questions or comments? Please feel free to leave one in the comments section below.
*Please consult with a medical professional if you have any medical issues that may be affected by the suggested activities.