Do these 5 exercises daily to stay fit and healthy
Daily exercise and movement have benefits beyond anything we can consider. All too often, we end up with symptoms that seem impossible to move beyond, and a common factor in tipping over into imbalance does seem to be lack of movement.
Let’s consider some of the top benefits of daily exercise and then roundup this article with the five best daily exercises which we must consider making a part of our life.
Benefits of daily movement and exercise
Exercise and movement play a key role in sleep, healthy digestion, optimal immune function, healthy endocrine systems, and much more. The circulatory system and the lymphatic system function then interplay with all other aspects of health including healthy skin, hormones, brain, and detoxification. Oxidative stress refers to when you produce more free radicals than you can neutralise, during the metabolic process of converting food to energy within your cells. If there are not enough antioxidants to combat the oxidative stress, your cells start to age, making you age faster. Oxidative stress is mainly related to defective mitochondria, which are the powerhouses within your cells. Movement counters the effects of ageing by combating mitochondrial dysfunction and by adding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Exercise supports healthy neurotransmitter production contributing to better sleep, mood, and mental health.
5 daily exercises to include
While different body constitutions might do well with different kinds of exercises, there are always some wonderful practices to include into daily life. Yoga breaks up movements that keep the spine healthy into forward and backward bending, lateral bending, twisting to the right and to the left, and being upside down. Mobilising the spine in these different directions gets blood moving through the whole spine and nervous system and encourages blood flow throughout the body.
1. A powerful way yoga supports the lymphatic and circulatory system is through muscle contraction. Think of sitting in a forward bend, holding your toes. Again, it might seem like there is no active movement, but stretching your large muscles, of your legs, is a powerful internal movement. When you stretch your large muscles, think about what happens when you stretch a rubber band. The more you stretch a rubber band, the greater the force with which it contracts and springs back, when you let it go.
Similarly, when you stretch your large muscles, the more you stretch, the more the muscles contract when you let go, allowing those muscles to work like a pump, pushing blood and lymph back up to your heart. There is something more fascinating that happens when that blood reaches your heart. Your heart is fooled by that extra volume of blood, into thinking that you might have done some aerobic movement, and pumps stronger, sending fresh blood throughout your body. To make the best use of this principle, sit down with your legs together stretched in front of you. Inhale raise your arms up and exhale bend forward to touch your toes, ever so slowly. Repeat this movement 5 times and then hold it on the last repetition for a few minutes. When you finish, raise your arms, and come back up. Drop the palms on the floor behind you, fingers pointing back, and raise your hip up without bending your knees into a counter pose.
2. When you incorporate abdominal movement through spinal twists, you allow lymphatic movement through the whole trunk of your body. It squeezes internal organs within your abdominal area and allow for immense release of lymphatic congestion. Sit down in a comfortable cross legged sitting posture on the floor. Place your left palm on your right knee and your right hand on the floor behind you as your twist your torso to the right. Avoid placing too much weight on the palm of your hand. Allow your spine to hold you upright. Every breath in, focus on feeling the breath moving up your spine and lengthening it. Every breath out, focus on visualizing your spine gently twisting, as through you were wringing out your spine of stagnant blood flow. Hold for a minute or two. Release gently and come back to the center before repeating on the other side.
3. Lateral bending of the spine allows the spine to maintain flexibility, tones spinal nerves, brings blood flow to abdominal organs, increases peristalsis of the digestive tract, massages the liver and spleen, and helps keep the spine elastic. A simple and safe way to practice this every day is to stand with your feet hip width apart, with your arms on your hips. Sand with your right hip facing a wall, about two feet away from the wall. Allow your right hand to support your right hip. Raise your left arm up to feel the left side of your body stretch. Bend to your right and place the fingertips of your left hand on the wall. Avoid transferring all the weight into the wall. Use the arms more as a prop. Stay there for a minute and come back to the center. Turn around and repeat on the other side.
4. A standing forward bend allows us to get the double benefit of a forward bend and that of an inversion. While many of us may struggle to invert our body into a headstand or a shoulder stand, we can all gather some of those benefits through this one. Contraindications do include having hypertension or challenges with the eyes such as a detached retina. Benefits include invigoration of the entire nervous system and flow of fresh blood to the brain. Stand with your feet together, or comfortably apart. Raise your arms up to extend the spine, and gently bend forward. Bend from the hips as much as you can. If you do not reach the floor, avoid bending the knees. Instead, place your palms on a little block or stool. Make sure that the weight is centered on the balls of the feet. Relax your head, neck, upper back, shoulder, and arms. Stay there for a couple of minutes. When you want to come up, take a minute, coming up with your spine first, then the shoulders, neck, and finally the head. This stabilizes the blood pressure gently, preventing dizziness. Place your palms on your hip and gently arch back for a few seconds as a counter pose.
5. Finally, lie down on your back. Fold your knees so the heels are close to your sitting bones, with your feet six inches apart from each other. Place your palms on the floor and gently raise your hip up to a comfortable level and hold for 30 seconds. Ensure that the weight is not tipping over to the outer parts of your feet, which will then strain your knees. Repeat this twice. Finally hug your knees to your chest and relax your hips.
Always relax after your complete the series
These five simple daily exercises move the spine in every direction possible to promote mobility and optimal blood circulation. Take caution in moving into and out of any movement, which is where most of the injury happens. When you conclude, play some gently music, pay an eye mask over your eyes, and allow yourself to relax completely. This allows your body to circulate fresh blood, utilize the energy flow from the sequence of these daily exercises, and settle down. Doing this simple routine every day is a powerful way to support your whole body!
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)