There's two areas that all beginning fitness enthusiasts and seasoned veterans alike tend to skip or rush through: The warm up and the cool down.
We tend to want to get on with it. Get on with the workout because burning lots of calories means progress. Progress means better health or a sexier body. But the warm up and the cool down has a special place in staying healthy.
Warming up allows the body to adjust its temperature gradually and limits the possibility of injury. Cooling down does the same, bringing down the heartbeat to a normal pace. We all know this to be true but what more is there and why aren't we doing it?
A lot more.
Add in: Gratitude and Mindfulness.
Even my dogs do yoga! Have you ever noticed why it's called a "downward dog"? If it's good enough for Pebbles and Otis, who sleep all day, I deserve at least the same.
A few ankle circles before you get out of bed helps to warm up the area. I do a few simple yoga poses in the morning as I wake up and start my day. It helps you avoid hobbling down the stairs like Frankenstein. Staying flexible, and staying limber is essential to staying 'young". This is my warm up.
Now add in the gratitude. (i.e. Meditate without having to become a yogi) Don't have time to sit on the floor and say "Om."? No problem. Take 10-15 minutes (5 if you're really cutting it close) to stretch, all the while saying the following:
"Thank you, heart, for beating and pumping blood throughout my body,"
"Thank you lungs for filling my body with good, clean air,"
"Thak you bones for holding me up straight and strong,"
"Thank you muscles for supporting me,"
If there is any particular area that gives you pain or is of concern, try thanking it as well. Give it some love. I thank my knees and my core for getting stronger every day.
Try adding your own language and extending it to your family life, career or personal well-being. You can find some basic yoga or stretching poses online and start today! It's never too late to feel grateful. #celebratelove