Fitness Shift: Slow Down This Month

How Yoga, Tai Chi, and Stretching is Hard Work too

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Czepiel

While by this point in the year, most people are not looking to add a new practice to their workout routine, it is to the contrary a great time to add something slow, relaxing, and stress releasing.

If you have not implemented yogic practice into your workout, or even slow basic stretching, consider this hectic time of year as a great time to give it a try. During this time of the year most people are in a go, go, go mode. Doing more running, or heavy exercise while we are already running around may not seem like the best idea. It is also a time of year when our bodies are typically fighting off winter illnesses, so over exertion can be as draining as it is beneficial.

Adding more slow movements, isometrics, and yoga to your workout can allow the body to recover from the end of year and holiday abuse that we are dealing out to it. These types of exercise are also made for indoor use. There is no excuse if you are snowed in. No running in the house, no problem.

Many studios that teach stretching and yoga offer end of year specials. Check them out to see if you are doing the movements correctly, at least the first few times. If you do not have a studio that offers these near you, check out the videos in your local library, or on Youtube.com or on Netflix. There are all levels of video practices out there.

While you may not feel like you are working your body, because movements are slower, and do not typically work up a sweat, it is still vitally important to listen to your body, and to the instruction of the teacher or video. Many practices such as Yoga, isometrics, and Tai Chi are working muscles just as hard, if not harder than more high energy workouts.

If you leave a class or complete a video and do not at first feel sore or drained, this does not mean you should kick right over to a more strenuous workout. Allow your body at least a day to feel the changes. Very often slower movements take time for the body to realise as work.

Look for more detailed information on the exercises mentioned in this article in future posts. Always keep in mind that the body takes time to recover from any new form of movement or exertion. When done correctly even the low impact workouts can have serious results.

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