Fitness

May|June 2017

Health Benefits of Regular Exercise

Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.

Improved sleep

Increased interest in sex

Better endurance

Increased energy and stamina

Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness

Stress relief

Improvement in mood

Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness

Weight reduction

National Institute of Health and National Center for Biotechnology Information and U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2006). Exercise for Mental Health.  Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658

A Suggested Exercise Plan

Just Getting Started*
4 - 5X / week - Cardio Activity, (a short walk).
2X / week - Strength Conditioning (light weights – canned goods work too).
3 - 7X / week - Flexibility (stretching).

*Always consult with your doctor before starting an exercise regiment.

The Basic Yoga Poses

Yoga is a mind and body practice with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. Like other meditative movement practices used for health purposes, various styles of yoga typically combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.   Practicing yoga (as well as other forms of regular exercise) may improve quality of life; reduce stress; lower heart rate and blood pressure; help relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia; and improve overall physical fitness, strength, and flexibility.

Try holding each pose for three to five long breaths.  Doing this for 20 minutes a day to start your day (or anytime during the day) will help your mental alertness.

Tree Pose

Like a tree, this pose grounds you.  It improves balance and strengthens your legs and back.

 

Sukhasna

A comfortable sitting position to prepare for meditation.  Relax your body and focus on deep breathing.

Triangle Pose

This pose stretches the legs and torso and loosens the hips.  It also promotes deep breathing.

Downward Dog

This pose stretches the hamstrings and chest.  It also allows more blood flow to your head.

Cobra Pose

This pose strenghtens the lower back and triceps.  It adds flexibility to the spine and promotes better breathing by opening up the chest.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and National Institute of Health and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2013). Yoga: In Depth.  Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga/introduction.htm