Fitness Magazine

Friday Q&A: How Do You Keep Fit?

By Ninazolotow @Yoga4HealthyAge

Friday Q&A: How Do You Keep Fit?

Newberry Crater by Melina Meza

Q: How do you & other writers keep fit? I was wondering what a typical week of yoga/aerobic exercise would look like in a week (or, spread out over a couple of weeks)? I am curious how others build in other activities in their week besides yoga. A yoga session for half an hour with walking for an hour?
How does one keep fit? I'm in a slump and right now I just want to do some gentle exercise but know I need to do more………, I was hoping that having more of a structure would help motivate me.

A: One of the barriers people run into when they decide to start practicing yoga at home is being overly ambitious. They think they need to have a full-length practice (such as the length of one of their yoga classes) or it’s not worth their while to practice. Then, either because they can’t find that much time or because it seems too overwhelming to contemplate, they end up not practicing at all. But it is far better to practice asana several times a week for short sessions because you start establishing a new habit. And as you develop the habit of practicing regularly, you may find your sessions start to stretch out until they naturally become longer and longer (that’s exactly what happened to me!).
This is why almost all yoga teachers, including us, recommend that you start small. So rather than trying to set yourself up with an intimidating new schedule of a half-hour yoga session plus one hour walking every day, come up with something for yourself that feels easier and more doable (gosh, did I really just use that word?). Then, make it a point to do that practice six days a week. And if you find you don’t have time even for that, get on your mat and do at least one pose, whether it is an active pose like Downward-Facing Dog pose or even just a restorative pose like Legs Up the Wall pose (some days are like that). Establishing your new habit of practicing is what really matters! Eventually you’ll start to feel like your day isn’t complete if you haven’t practiced, but it will take you a while to get there.
I did actually survey the other blog writers to see how much yoga they did every day, and times ranged from 30 minutes to 2 hours. We all also include some other types of physical activities into our week, including walking, hiking, biking, weight lifting, treadmill, and so on. But after some thought, I decided not to go into details about who exactly did what because most of us have been doing yoga for many, many years. And I wanted to emphasize that for someone who is in a slump and wants to get some gentle exercise, starting out small (rather than trying to keep up with us) is the best approach. Also, any exercise you choose to supplement your yoga practice with should be one that you enjoy—and that varies from person to person—because if you dislike it, you’re not going to be able to force yourself to keep doing it.
I hope this helps you (and other people in your position), and I’d love to hear back from you about what you decide to practice and how you fare with your new routine.

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