Come January first, there is talk of New Year’s resolutions everywhere: at the water cooler, in the newspaper, on Facebook, and in every nook and cranny of the Internet. Come February, those discussions have long since died out, along with most people’s resolutions, and will, to begin something new. Perhaps Groundhog Day is a more auspicious time to turn to a healthier lifestyle that includes exercise and stress-reduction techniques? So jump-start your resolutions, or simply make Groundhog ones!
Start with the resources you have right here at The FruitGuys Magazine. In addition to eating more fruits and veggies for health and enjoyment, look at the following for ideas on how to increase exercise and decrease stress both at work and off.
- Feeling stressed at work, on your commute, or just worrying too much after two years of recession? Start a five-minute, stress-reducing pranayama or breath practice. To deepen your practice, try additional techniques here.
- Have a pool near your workplace or home? Even occasional swimming can take you to a different world. Imagine yourself in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean as you stroke your way to happiness.
- For ideas on starting or increasing your cardio workout, read Cardio: Let Me Count the Ways, and watch the calories melt away.
- Yoga offers the benefits of calming your mind while working out all the kinks in your body. No time for a class? Try these poses designed for doing at your desk, or just about anywhere you find yourself. Planning a trip? Don’t forget about yoga for jetlag. And you can find a few more poses for relaxation, whether jetlagged or simply feeling life-lagged, right here.
- Experience hiking for a change of pace and place, which can bring peace to the soul.
- Try the ten-minute desk workout, which almost everyone can do right where you are, now. No excuses.
- Live or work in a building with stairs? Stair climbing costs nothing, burns plenty of calories, and will tone your legs and build beautiful calves. Just shunning the elevator occasionally will make a difference, as will running up and down your staircase at home.
- As spring approaches (yes, it will arrive even for those of you in the Midwest and East Coast), gardening offers a way to feel connected to nature, while giving you an outlet for frustration and stress (kill those weeds). Your gentler side can nurture delicate blooms or grow fruit and vegetables.
You don’t need to join a gym or hire a personal trainer to pursue a healthier lifestyle with more exercise and less stress. Any exercise will help you cope better with anxiety, depression, grief, lethargy and other reactions to stress in our lives. There is no point beating yourself up over old New Year’s resolutions. Simply try doing something different today, and take things one day at a time.
Please check with your health professional before beginning any new exercise regime, especially if you have any pre-existing health issues such as high blood pressure or coronary heart disease.
Rebecca Taggart is a San Francisco-based yoga instructor.