Here’s a mini-quiz for you: In one to three words, how do you feel after sitting for six hours either in an office, plane, car or even after an extended Netflix binge? Now, how do you feel after a long walk in nature, a sweaty juicy yoga class, or your movement of choice?
If you responded to the sedentary day with words like stiff, cranky, negative, or anxious, you’re not alone. And if you responded invigorated, happy, positive, or calm to activity, you’ve described how much lifestyle impacts your well-being.
Your level of physical activity profoundly impacts your emotions and thoughts. We all experience periods where we aren’t exercising or practicing yoga as frequently as we would like. Sometimes it’s because of injury or illness, but sometimes we fall into a rut and stop moving our bodies enough. And when that’s the case, we often feel heavy, lethargic, fuzzy, and unhappy.
According to numerous academic and psychological studies, a sedentary lifestyle negatively impacts your ability to maintain optimal health. In fact, the World Health Organization named physical inactivity as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Living a couch potato lifestyle might not kill you, but it will definitely impact your physical, emotional, and mental health.
On the physical level, exercise helps keep your bones strong, your muscles toned, and your heart healthy.
Whether you choose to clock ten thousand steps a day or practice yoga regularly, you’re benefitting. Maintaining a regular fitness program helps keep your weight in check, helps balance blood pressure, and boosts your serotonin levels, and feel more positive. If you’ve practiced yoga, even for a short time, you’re aware how much physical activity impacts your moods and thoughts.
Yoga is about tuning into physical sensations and learning to listen to your body. When you’re consciously connecting your breath to your movement, you create a meditative effect where you become more aware of the sensations in your body impacting you on every level. If you’ve lost your motivation to move lately, see if you can rekindle it with one of new classes this week.
1. Pradeep Teotia - Move your Asana
2. Mark Morford - Yoga Alchemy: Coffee, or Else
3. Erin Wimert - Moving with Presence
4. Josey Prior - Hummingbird Flow: Grace and Ease
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