I spent the weekend trying to re-incorporate exercise back into my routine. It's not that I don't like exercise...I just get lazy and then a week turns into a month, and a month turns into two. It never helps that sleep isn't the easiest thing for me to get either. It's quite sad that my biological structure is geared for being awake at night. This just means that I will never be up at an appropriate how to run without inhaling pollution, do sun salutations when the sun is actually coming up, or have good skin.

Without a doubt, one should work around these issues, and get the exercise in wherever possible. More importantly, I should really be training for my upcoming Standard Chartered 10km in September. It's my first 10k that I will be running in Vibrams, and it should be a fun experience.

So, what did I do this weekend?

On Saturday, I went for yoga after ages, and as it's always easy to forget when sleep beckons you back to bed, I felt great after the class. Undoubtedly, exercise releases endorphins, so if you are prone to depression or anger management issues, it's something you should take up to deal with it. The other option is kickboxing!

Then today (Sunday), I played badminton with the family. It's definitely something we should be more regular yet because it is a lot of fun. But, everyone knows that.

Let's get back to yoga for a bit.

It really isn't something you need to go for classes for, in all honesty. Nonsense like hot yoga/Bikram yoga are all a lie. There's no such thing in the actual yoga world. It's all just a means of cashing in on vanity. While it makes some sense that the warmer the temperature is, the more you will loosen up and be able to stretch, it doesn't make sense to try to kill you in a country which is already doing just that. I've heard umpteen stories from people I know about how they break out on their backs and faces because of these hot yoga classes, and while they like to lie to themselves about the fact that it's the detoxification process, it's more likely your bodies reaction to extreme heat. Going for one yoga class a week is not going to kickstart any form of detox. Sorry to burst your bubble.

However, you can achieve a lifestyle which may promote healthier system functioning by doing yoga at home, on your own. What am I talking about? The very basics: Sun Salutations.

Traditionally, these are done before the sun has completely risen (8 am) in a set of 12. Basically, there are 12 positions in one sun salutation, and you repeat the entire process 12 times. This shouldn't take you more than 30 minutes...20 in fact.


[Sun Salutations]

What does it do? When I was religiously doing these every morning, I noticed a huge difference in my energy levels, mood and flexibility. Now, if you run regularly, it becomes crucial that you work on your flexibility because running tends to stiffen your muscles quite a bit. Exercises such as these forms of stretching will help to lengthen and strengthen them. If nothing else, this works perfectly as a warm up before a run. I, for one, definitely need a warm up. Due to the fact that I apparently have low blood pressure, whenever I hit the 1 mile mark without warming up, I get a sharp, piercing pain in my lower abdomen that has caused me to stop and double over a number of times. It takes about 20 minutes to go away, so you can imagine the effect it has on your timing where running is concerned. I did an abundance of research before I found out that it's due to low blood pressure, a fact that most people in the fitness industry are apparently unaware of.

And this, my friends, is evidence of why warming up is so important. Why the lower abdomen? Because it's an area which is ridiculously difficult to warm up and get the blood flowing quickly to. Enter sun salutations. These definitely get your heart pumping enough to send blood to all the regions you need it to get to, and it releases the happy hormone in your head. Beyond that, the entire process uses a lot of core energy, which means it's fantastic as a general fitness tool too. Yes, it definitely blasts belly fat! 

You could very easily incorporate this into your life. You don't even need a yoga mat, if you have a carpet, that will do just fine. It's preferable that you do this in an area where you are actually exposed to the Sun or open air, even a window would do! From what I've been told, this is to soak up the good vitamins (e.g. Vitamin D) which the Sun gives off when it's rising. I'm sure you've heard that morning sun is good for you. When you wake up, you may want to brush your teeth, but right after that, kickstart your morning with these. It may take a few days to get used to the whole system, but it will be worth it in the end! As much as I am preaching, I really do need to get back on this bandwagon. Now that I have finally cleaned my room, it's possible that having a floor will make me more diligent in this. I shall start on Thursday since it is a public holiday and I don't need to fret about jumping out of bed late and getting to work. 

Thursday!

If you've never done yoga before or you are just unfamiliar with these moves, it is advisable for you to go for a class or two just to get acquainted with the correct motions and the intricacies of each position. There are a number of places where classes range between RM30-RM40, and most gyms will give you a 2 week pass for free. Just go for their basic yoga class and they will surely do sun salutations. I know True Fitness has a class dedicated to it. 

If any one would like a 10-Day pass to True Fitness, I have 2 to give away. You will be entitled to attend all classes and use the gym's facilities. Jaya 33's branch even has a pool. 

All in all, whatever you do, this is definitely a good means of incorporating basic exercise into your lifestyle. Weight loss and overall health isn't a short term measure, it's a lifestyle choice and sometimes it requires a first step. There always is one and it doesn't even need to be drastic. Even if you just start drinking 8 glasses of water per day, where you were previously drinking 1 or 2, it will make a huge difference.

It's the start of a new week. Make a positive change which you will stick to until the end of the year and empirically test the theory of change! 


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