The right type of exercise for YOUR body (and mind)
High-energy, wired– You may be the type who gets frustrated and irritable if you don’t do enough activity. Sitting for long periods (computer work, driving) can cause you to feel pent-up energy that may manifest with mental anxiety and feeling fidgety. For you, exercise can be an emotional outlet that boosts your mood and keeps you feeling balanced.
You crave: excitement, stimulation, movement
Best type of exercise: Higher-intensity workouts are a great way to release your stress and keep your energy flowing smoothly. Try interval training on an elliptical or stationary bike. Swimming is also an excellent cardiovascular workout and is more gentle on the joints than running.
To add balance: you tend to like moving fast and working out hard. This can be tough on your joints and depleting to your energy stores. Try something different and add a yoga class into your routine. Some yoga classes are more active and physically challenging such as Vinyasa flow and hot yoga, so these types should fit your preferences and keep you engaged. To try something outside of your comfort zone, experience quietude and stillness with gentle yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi class. (We recommend The Shift Yoga Studio in Hendersonville. They offer discounts to Acu-Na clients through our community partnership program
Low energy, fatigued– For you, the prospect of exercising could seem exhausting if you’re already feeling worn out all the time. However, gentle movement is critical to keep your blood flowing and increase your feeling of wellbeing. Staying sedentary is the worst thing you could do, as it will exacerbate your feelings of tiredness.
You crave: rest, low-stress environments
Best type of exercise: Tai Chi, Qigong, and restorative yoga are forms of slow, gentle movement that are proven to increase energy and keep you feeling balanced. These exercises unite movement with breath, which is crucial to keep your lungs functioning well. In Chinese medicine, the Lungs are responsible for creating the Qi (energy) for your entire body. Breathwork creates circulation and increases your feeling of wellbeing to give you more energy to get through your day.
To add balance: Try a more active form of movement/breathwork with a gentle flow yoga class which will add gentle muscle-building poses to strengthen your body without overworking or depleting your energy.
Stressed/Overworked– For you, the biggest barrier to exercise may be your busy schedule and worries about what you could be doing instead with your time. Of course, you are in the most need of a break to move your body, but you may feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Just remind yourself, taking a few minutes each day or a couple hours per week to take care of your body will prevent you from having a more severe injury or illness that would keep you from your tasks for a longer period of time. Prevention and wellness must be at the top of your priority list so you can keep up your responsibilities without having to take a lot of time off to heal when something goes wrong. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to do a whole hour of exercise for it to be effective. Even a little 15 minute break could be spent doing 30-second intervals of plank exercises to strengthen your core or pushups to get your cardiovascular system pumping.
You crave: time for yourself, relaxation, a feeling of wellbeing
Best type of exercise: Brief periods of exercise will fit best into your schedule—2 minutes of planks, 30 reps of squats, 15 reps of pushups are enough to get your blood flowing and re-energize you. Any amount of movement is better than none!
To add balance: Can you make yourself a priority and make the time to rejuvenate? Not only could you deeply benefit from a treatment at Acu-Na (imagine yourself receiving a blissful one-hour massage!), but your body would really thank you for a weekly or monthly yoga class or group exercise class (try Zumba—it’s like dancing for non-dancers!).
Less active/Injured– If you have chronic pain or illness, you may not have been moving much for months or even years. In this case, you will want to start with basic movements for short periods of time. Some exercises can even be done while you sit in a chair, including arm lifts (start with no weight and work up to 3 pound weights—you can even use a can of vegetables if you don’t want to buy weights). Silver sneakers classes offer a variety of seated exercises, or just find some videos online such as: Chair Exercises Example
You crave: gentle, non-intimidating options to get moving
Best type of exercise: chair exercises such as the ones linked above, WALKING—walking may seem simple but even a 10-15 walk will flood your organs with oxygen and get the blood flowing throughout your system. For many folks who are sedentary the legs and ankles tend to swell, and the best way to get the lymph fluid flowing upward toward the heart is through contraction of the calf muscles during walking. If you’re unable to walk, try standing calf raises.
In addition, one of the best exercises is a simple one: wall-sits. With your back against a wall, bend your legs 90 degrees and hold for 20 seconds to one minute. You’ll slowly build up the amount of time you’re able to hold this position. This one is great because it builds muscle mass in the largest muscle group of your body, the quadriceps. Building muscle mass is the ONLY way to raise HDL cholesterol which protects your heart against clogged arteries. Strong quadriceps help alleviate knee pain and keep you able to get up out of your chair with ease and grace.
Any way you choose to move your body will be beneficial, even if you can only do it for 10 minutes a day! Small steps are the beginning of a journey toward wellness. Your team at Acu-Na is here to help you feel your best through acupuncture, massage, energy work, and lifestyle guidance.