So winter is here. The transition from Autumn as the light outside getting darker earlier & the chilly weather setting up home for some months ahead.
It’s not the greatest highlight of winter when it comes to having that jump out of a comfy warm bed feeling or burst of motivation. But it does serve as a purpose of why been active is just as important as when the sun is shining & the weather is pleasant.
As humans we adapt to our environment. Just like the weather can have an effect on our moods & motivation. Not to mention our physical activity. Whilst we are still in a pandemic many of our habits have changed over the month’s already.
But rather than what you can’t do. Maybe that was been a regular at the gym or other places that was restricted due to the pandemic. It’s also a financial issue. It could be like so many such as myself having Lupus SLE (autoimmune illness) with chronic kidney disease & having had multiple kidney plus lung failure. Been a extreme vulnerable person has not been easy. Not only do you not see family but taking time off of doing on site work with school children who are innocently baring the brunt of this whole pandemic. It’s utilizing what I can do.
Using festive decor such as battery operated fairy lights which you can get very cheap now. So no need to worry about that electric bill. Plus it been nearly Christmas no one’s going to think. Why does your home look like a Christmas wonderland. Haha.
But brightening up a early dark day with lights brings with it a sort of comfort for the soul & joy. Plus as it’s battery operated. I set the time on my clock every morning to switch them off. This has given me a reason to get out of the bed early & routine. Also setting the time for when the sun rises means I get to make the most of the daylight hours on offer whether I am working or not that day.
If you have children then extra trips to the park would be fun & active for everyone including nature themed active games. For example ‘eye spy with my little eye’ type one’s where instead they have to find an item such as a brown leaf & bring back. Also story play active games which helps develop both mental skills & physical skills simultaneously. For adults & young people alike. Whether your solo or in a group. Or a parent pushing a buggy. Using the Fartlek interval training method (story play). To work on cardio & goals. Which I like to term as efficient exercising because using known methods or systems is with the aim to follow the main principles of the formula. For example by using the Fartlek system in the park or home by speeding up & slowing down over a set time using story play. This can be done doing a walk & jog or using a bike. Alternatively this method can be performed or used on a treadmill or exercise bike.
To get that heart pumping & brain activated. Steps exercise is great because it’s so versatile & adaptable. It’s not age restricted or requires any special equipment should you not have fitness steps etc.. Any stairs or even a ledge type surface will suffice. Even if a ledge type surface is too demanding on joints for whatever individual reason. Marching/jogging on the spot with high knees serves the same action. But to be mindful to get the heart rate elevated for it to be an aerobic or cardio exercise. Heart health is important to everyone to do at least one exercise that helps maintain function & minimize any problems along with the usual consuming a balanced daily nutritional diet.
As the word wellness is everywhere you look. Be it a new technique or simply a new product claiming to boost your wellness. It’s easy to assume that our wellness or wellbeing is an important factor in our overall health. Especially as we have so much to think about in any one given day. It’s easy to get flustered & anxious without been conscious that we are stressing ourselves out.
Wellness is not just been able to do yoga exercises & mindful breathing. It’s much simpler than that. It’s been able to refocus & calm the the mind. As the mind is the epicenter of everything we do & are. From our emotions & thoughts. To controlling voluntary/involuntary bodily functions. Doing what we can to help ourselves have the best possible results is something every individual can take responsibility for.
Yoga for me who has Lupus SLE along with Lupus related illnesses such as chronic anaemia, IBS, chronic kidney disease (the list goes on as I would be here all day.haha).
But it serves so many purposes. Such as been able to work on fitness goals such as tone, strengthening, stretching, flexibility, stability, balance & mobility. With my wellness it helps to balance out anxiety & stress. Due to the many non medical effects of having a chronic incurable illness. Such as the many hospital visits, treatments & medications that are a regular feature of my life & has been for more than a decade. It’s adjusting to a fact there is no standard way of living or who you should be in order to be a valid member in society. But we all have a common goal to elevate or maintain a overall health, fitness & wellbeing balance.
There is no law to say you can’t make exercising fun or interesting thereby still obtaining your goals. Not just so rigid in it’s delivery. Such as inside of jogging pick up a skipping rope & skip for 1 min. Then up the anty by making it 2 mins next week.
I always let people know to be mindful of just watching & replicating workout videos using weights if you haven’t consulted a health professional or been guided by a qualified fitness expert like myself first.
Any type of resistance training can have a longterm affect on your joints & muscles not used properly. That’s from how to hold a weight & technique. I have witnessed many common mistakes such as a simple bicep curl not having the elbow tucked in & upper arm kept straight. The arm works like a lever. With muscles that have an origin & insertion point. So the only part of the arm moving is the forearm up & down. Means the elbow been out & doing this movement is not working the target muscles & putting unnecessary strain on wrist joints.
Even as a fitness professional. When starting my yoga journey to be a qualified teacher etc. I connected with experienced yoga teachers to make sure I first got my technique right & learning the importance of alignment. I involved myself in knowing the details so I could give myself the best chance of outcomes. Also the confidence to progress on my own.
With winter here. Having exercises to maintain or boost our circulation is so important in our body generating heat internally & get that blood flowing like clockwork. Especially like myself I have Raynaud’s which cold weather is not my freind. Due to the affects of cold stiffness in hands, muscle spasms in hands & legs which are very painful. So minimizing these episodes I do exercises to boost my circulation. If going outside is not a possibility on that day for whatever reason. Make it a daily habit to open a window & either stand, sit or if your able to do some sort of exercise or activity with the window open. Curtains or blinds drawn open as much as possible to experience as much natural light & air you can.
Also having experienced early menopause. When a hot flush reared it’s ugly head. I just did an exercise to take my mind off of it & honestly it was an opportunity to go outside exercise with no jacket on to cool down. Which I think my neighbours thought looking on does she know it’s cold outside.haha. Then did a light exercise coming indoors to makesure my body temperature lowered steadily. Which is important in this climate that as much as that little tight jacket or top looks cute. Maintaining a regulated body temperature is important especially for those who are immune suppressed.
So the main point is sustainable fitness, health & wellbeing practices that can help you achieve your goals &/or for maintenance. Exercises that are transferable & adaptable whether indoors or outdoors. Be creative & make it fun if the idea of rigid fitness sessions bore you. Create a space in your home to resemble a workout area or mini gym. Whatever gets you active & moving is a positive step. Also the biggest benefit of creating your own active & wellbeing routine should you be home alone. Like in my case was 8 month’s & counting before I could visit my mum. Which was due to been patient & having her as my bubble. Making the most of those few day’s. Not knowing when I was going to see her again. But I never felt lonely maybe because Lupus had already prepared me for this type of situation.
So been in isolation or adapting my way of life was a regular occurrence. As we all have different roles & experiences. Plus emotional triggers & physical aspects to how we face or cope with situations. But what we all have in common is what we choose to do about it. So whether it’s a fitness, health or wellbeing goal &/or maintenance. Maybe it’s all three. There are ways & resources to do it.
So Stay safe❤ Stay Active💚
May you all have a positive & motivated merry winter.
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