5 Home Workouts for Mind and Body Health
by Jenna Baylord
Without a doubt, the current global crisis has altered how we live our daily lives. While staying at home can certainly keep us safe, other physical and mental problems may arise due to constant isolation and inactivity.
With this in mind, our previous post on Micro Self-Care During the Pandemic details easy well-being habits that you can form during these trying times, such as avoiding mulling on negative thoughts and calming down with a cup of your favourite beverage. But while these small things can definitely help keep us sane, it’s vital that we take care of our bodies by staying active — even inside the house.
Moreover, Help Guide’s article on the mental benefits of exercise points out that doing home workouts can also assist us in keeping our minds healthy. With that said, here are five of the best exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home.
Before you dismiss this Chinese martial art, hear us out. Tai Chi’s repetitive movements, breathing exercises, and meditative qualities can be extremely useful to help us keep our mental and physical health in check. Compared to other martial arts and workouts, Tai Chi’s graceful exercises are incredibly gentle on one’s joints — making it perfect for people who don’t have full mobility or for those who haven’t exercised in a while.
Despite it being traditionally done in a group setting and with an instructor, you can start your Tai Chi journey at home with the help of instructional videos and materials. But before you dive in, it’s important to do some preliminary research to properly execute this workout. So, set aside some time for finding the Tai Chi style that’s best suited for you.
There’s a reason why this high-intensity interval training has gained steady popularity over the past few years. CrossFit has masterfully combined intense high-functional exercises with short recovery windows, making this workout more effective at training participants to raise their stamina and enhance their muscle power. And even though a ton of CrossFit exercises require equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, or plyo boxes, you can easily substitute these with things that you can find inside your house.
To add, CrossFit also has the potential to keep your mind in check. In fact, a study by the University of California – Davis has found out that intense exercise sessions can help treat and prevent depression. This is because high-intensity exercises stimulate the production of two specific neurotransmitters that enhance the chemical synapses in your brain.
The core of yoga is built on establishing that balance between one’s mind and body in order to reach peak awareness of their individuality and purpose. This aspect of mindfulness makes yoga perfect for these distressing times — as well as its reputation of being a low-maintenance workout since it doesn’t need any equipment or a ton of space.
A huge part of yoga focuses on improving one’s breathing, which could help enhance one’s brain functions and other essential bodily processes. Indeed, Pain Free Working’s guide to breathing exercises enumerates easy ones you can do to reduce stress and boost your brain power. For example, you can try doing the lion’s breath, which involves sitting on your knees, inhaling deeply through your nose, and exhaling it all out with your mouth wide open and your tongue sticking out. Besides that, you can also try the 4-7-8 breathing technique by inhaling for 4 seconds, holding it in for 7, and then slowly exhaling in a span of 8 seconds. All of these can help your yoga practice, and in turn, help you maintain a better body and alert mind.
Also called pelvic floor exercises, Kegels are an often underestimated type of exercise due to its reputation as a ladies-only exercise. However, everyone can benefit from doing these exercises as they primarily help maintain the strength of the muscles that support your bladder, rectum, and intestine.
More importantly, consistently doing Kegel exercises can also improve the sexual functions in both men and women. This can subsequently lead to a healthier and more enjoyable sex life, as ABC News reports that this can help release important hormones that boost your mood.
If you prefer doing a workout that involves a lot of energy-filled and fun movements, then Zumba might be for you. This Latin-influenced fitness program has been known to help people move around more, since it infuses aerobic exercises with slow and fast rhythms. Constantly doing this aerobic exercise can help you keep fit, and the dynamic and engaging program will surely liven up your spirit and boost your mood.
To get started with Zumba, you can join online classes or choose from a myriad of Zumba instructional videos on YouTube that vary in level of difficulty, music, and dance style. What’s great about Zumba is that you don’t even have to be good at dancing — you need only do your best to keep up with the routine and have fun in the process.
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