For many of us – especially women – exercising is often seen as a way to mold our bodies into a certain shape or to burn calories. In my opinion, however, working out is so much more than just “looking good”.
Exercising fights stress, makes us more energetic and helps us appreciate our bodies and what they can do for us. Most importantly, however, it’s fun! And if you don’t agree I suspect you haven’t found the right workout for YOU yet 🙂
I love incorporating different ways of movement into my day because I easily get bored when I do the same thing day in and day out. It’s also super important to me that the workouts I do are energizing and don’t burn me out.
Here are my 5 favorite “feel good” – workouts!
1. Yoga (surprise!)
Yoga always helps me to come back to the present moment, leave all distractions behind and focus on myself, my breath and my body. I also love the feeling of stretching my muscles and strengthen them in a gentle way. These days Yin Yoga is my favorite – a very slow, restorative style of yoga during which poses are held for several minutes in order to stretch the fascia. After a Yin Yoga session I always feel brand new 🙂
2. Interval training
I love high intensity training and always have to make sure I don’t do too much of it and burn out (this is very typical for Pitta constitutions/doshas – more about Ayurveda and the doshas soon). Nevertheless, I incorporate a few sessions of interval training into my week, mostly bodyweight training. It’s challenging, lots of fun and fights stress. Another benefit about interval training is the fact that it’s short but very effective (approx. 15 – 25 minutes).
Just like yoga, pilates combines breath and movement, leading to more presence in the moment and body awareness. Pilates, however, focuses more on the strength aspect. Regular training strengthens the core, improves posture and lengthens the muscles. I only really discovered pilates recently when I was looking for gentle but effective workouts during pregnancy and I’m hooked!
Walking must be one of my favorite ways of moving. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with a loved one or get in some me-time and enjoy the fresh air. Did you know that it’s scientifically proven that walking in nature boosts your immune system and lifts your mood? It’s also the most natural way of movement for humans! The ideal amount of steps per day are 10.000 but let’s be honest – who really achieves that? For me, it’s not about a certain number but about the fact that I walk in nature regularly, no matter how far or long that might be.
I’m a total surf newbie but I can already tell how much I love it. Being in the ocean almost has a healing effect on mind and body and I feel like I’m in a totally different world, disconnected from the business of every day life and technology. Surfing is relaxing and exciting at the same time (I’m still intimidated by bigger waves :)) and, of course, it’s the ideal full body workout: paddling strengthens arms, shoulders and back and is great for cardiovascular health and standing up on the board challenges leg and core muscles as well as coordination.
What are your favorite workouts and why?