Thursday, January 23, 2014

TFC Day 16 - Aerobics and Fun Breathing

Aerobic exercise is the cornerstone of a cardiovascular and mental health. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. That’s more than 45 minutes three times a week. Hopefully this Therapeutic Fitness Challenge has helped you create a habit of aerobic exercise that you can build on.

Assignments for today:

1. Choose one or more of the aerobics activities in this program (hike or walk, therapeutic aerobics, dance in your living room, or any other activity that gets your heart rate up safely) to create a 45-minute aerobic exercise for yourself today, and do it. Stay conscious of when you need to take a break. If 45 minutes is still too much to do at one time, do not push yourself, but make a note so you can include aerobic activities more frequently, perhaps 20 minutes every day instead.

2. Include your mental exercise with the aerobics. Stay conscious of your breathing as you exercise. See how long you can keep your focus on your breath without letting your mind stray. Please note that your breath is an indicator of the tension and strain in your body and mind. If your breath is labored beyond the target heart rate from Day 2 or becomes ragged, back off until your breath is smooth and even.

3. Try bhramari breathing, also called bee breath.  Inhale through your nose and exhale with closed lips as you hum. Feel the vibration in your lips.  Experiment with different pitches of humming. A higher pitch hum is typically more energetic and a low pitch hum is usually relaxing.  Either way, the humming slows down the exhale and engages the core.
Remember to drink plenty of water and keep track of what activities cause your symptoms to increase.

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