Summer holidays, or any holiday for that matter, are a great opportunity to relax and catch up on everything that has been pushed back on the never ending to do list.
Exercising might not be at the top of the priority list and let’s be honest, going for food with friends, spending time with your children, or catching up on all the TV series you have missed sounds far more exciting than exercising. But we all know that being physically active can boost our energy levels and help us de-stress. We have put together a few activities that fit into any busy schedule, are easily accessible, and adaptable to any intensity level.
Yoga / Pilates
Yoga and Pilates are both known to improve flexibility and muscle strength but they do so much more. Focusing on your breathing during a Yoga session or Pilates class, can be a good mindfulness exercise to strengthen not only our body but also the mind. The Elephant Journal offers a great amount of articles on the benefits of yoga. For anyone who prefers the comfort of their own home, you can find guided Yoga and Pilates sessions on YouTube and we have included one for you below.
Continuing with the theme of mindfulness, most of us can incorporate this activity into every day; Mindfulness Walking. Most of us will be walking for many different reasons. It might be to visit friends, do the shopping, drop the children off at school, or go to Uni / College / Work.
So how do we walk mindfully? It is actually quite easy once you have done it a few times.
Firstly, you want to slow down and walk in a comfortable pace. Try to then focus on how it feels when your foot touches the ground and how it feels to lift it again. You don’t have to do this for the entire walk; a few minutes here and there will be just fine. You can also try to be mindful of your surroundings. Focus on specific things that are around you, for example how many green things can you find or how many things can you see that you have not noticed before.
Being mindful can help to de-stress and allow us to slow down and take a break from our busy lives.
For anyone who has a garden and enjoys spending time outdoors this can be an easy way to de-stress. A good website with loads of information on gardening is The Garden Glove. The Garden Glove talks about all things gardening, from basic gardening skills to DIY projects to gardening on a budget. Gardening offers a fantastic opportunity to start something new, reconnect with nature, and exercise at the same time.
Have you ever found yourself cleaning with music playing in the background? If so, how likely was it for you to dance away to the music? Dancing has been shown to have many health benefits. Listening to positive and uplifting music can also improve our mental health and mood. So put on some uplifting music and dance away.
For some of us, water can actually have a calming and relaxing effect on our overall wellbeing. So, to go swimming might help to do just that whilst still getting your 150 minutes of activity a week. Swimming is also known to be gentle on the joints whilst still strengthening muscles. Most pools will offer classes for any level of ability. If you fancy combining some music and light water exercise you can also try an aqua aerobic class.