I know I said we would follow up last week's conversation with another skin sin, however, I would like to interrupt that train of thought. I am currently studying for the Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification exam. The reading I did from the text book today was about target heart rate and the role exercise has on lowering one's target heart rate. The argument is that if you exercise your heart muscle your resting heart rate will lower. The theory is that the less beats you take now, the more you to have later. Kind of like saving gas by not driving your car every day. You can save heart beats to be used later because your heart muscle is programmed to have only so many beats in it's life span. You can use them all now or you can save some for later! Your choice. I am happy to say that since I started practicing Nia my resting heart rate has decreased from 78 beats per minute (80 is average for women of my age) to 60 beats per minute! Factors that are responsible for lowering resting heart rate are regular exercise and decreasing stress. People look at Nia and think that it is just a fun and easy movement class. Which it is, but more importantly it is releasing stress! So it is the perfect form of exercise because not only are we moving and working our cardiovascular system. The practice releases stress that is held in the tissues of the body (read FAT between the lines). Fitness is the by product of the playful practice of Nia! I started this blog saying that it was interrupting our discussion about skin, but now that it is written it really does relate to good skin. As I said in the last entry, stress does damage to our skin. So here is one way to lower your heart rate, get physically fit and have glowing skin! The healing power of NIa!!!
What I most recently realized is that I have way more to say than blogging once a week. So for the next little while I am going to write a bit more often. Please comment if you think it is too much. The next few sessions will be focused on your skin. Does your skin look as young as you feel? I know I often look in the mirror and question who that is staring back at me. Anyone who has had a break out either before, during or after a stressful time will believe that Skin Sin #1 is, wait for it....STRESS. It is biologically the biggest cause of cellular break down of skin. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline into your cells. These two hormones were valuable when we were trying to outrun a T-Rex, not so much in today's world. Although I have worked for people who resembled these primitive beings. If these hormones remain in your system they result in free radical damage that ultimately cause wrinkles and sagging. Your cells look like water balloons and the free radicals poke holes in your balloons. As a result your cells start to leak water, causing dehydration. Cellular dehydration and free radical damage may be the two main causes of aging skin. The great thing is you can minimize the damage by using great products such as Arbonne's Multi-Vitamin for Women which has a high ORAC value. ORAC value is the ability of a product to rid the body of free radicals. In addition, participating in an activity that promotes relaxation will help keep stress hormones in check. Nia is the perfect form of movement as it encourages relaxation while still moving. Massage of any type, including Ayurvedic massage will take years off your skin if done on a regular basis. And who doesn't want to look half your age!!! Mediation also serves to release stress. Implement some or all of these solutions and you will not only look younger but feel younger as well. Stay tuned for Skin Sin #2.
I have mentioned many times how the Ayurvedic way mostly states the obvious. In an ideal world if we just listened to our bodies and respected the ways of humans before us, we would all be healthier. If you were to re-cap the blogs up to date you would see that a common theme is just that, common. Everything from the best time of day to exercise to what it is like to be a human being instead of a human doing, to what, when and how to eat! Chew your food??? Who knew??? One of the biggest contributors to many of the mental and physical illnesses some of us experience is stress. Perhaps the one thing that could make the most positive impact on your health would be to do some form of meditation. Meditation has a bad rap and most people think you have to sit on a cushion with your legs crossed saying "om" over and over again. But meditation can take many forms and may or may not be viewed by others as "meditation". One of the best forms is walking in nature. Alternatively, simply sitting quietly on a bench for a few minutes allows time for the body to release stress in the form of continuous thoughts. For more tips on how you can engage your own Captain Obvious, check out the blogs prior to this one. You will amazed at how easy it is to get and stay healthy. Happy reading everyone!
As promised, today we will look at the best time of day to exercise for optimum benefit. Your peak physical strength is Kapha time, which is between 6 and 10 a.m. and therefore is the best time to get in a work out. Another good time is between 6 and 8 p.m. Exercise after 8 p.m. is not recommended as it will disturb your sleep patterns. The worst time of day is between 10 in the morning and 6 in the evening. During Pitta time (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) you are more likely to overstretch yourself causing potential injuries. Your body is at its lowest physical strength during Vatta time (2 to 6 p.m.). Exercise during this time will seem difficult and not enjoyable. So there you have it. You will have a greater chance of incorporating exercise into your routine if you fit it into your day either before work or between 6 and 8 p.m. Of course these are only general guidelines and if you are happily fitting in a work out at any time and are able to sustain the frequency, then good on you! Keep up the good work!!!
I hate to discourage activity of any sort, but unfortunately based on your dosha there are some types of exercise that you will start and then soon after quit. My goal is to KEEP you active. Vatas do not require strenuous exercise, but need grounding and calming forms of activity. You do not have a lot of stamina so marathons, heavy weight training and vigorous aerobics will not keep you motivated. Wind and cold both aggravate vata, so sailing skiing and swimming in cold weather are not recommended. Pittas love competition, concentration and focus. Pittas benefit from activities that cool them down both mentally and physically. Highly competitive sports played indoors will inflame Pittas so squash, boxing and martial arts will cause irritability. Kaphas are excellent at field sports that require endurance and strength. Rugby and football are excellent. The biggest battle for Kapha is to start as you have a natural urge to take it easy. However, mental and physical exercise are vital to your well being so it is best to fight the urge. Team sports are best as Kaphas love the social aspect and it will keep them engaged week after week. Next we will look at the best time of day for activity.
As a life long learner with a ferocious growth mind set, Kammi devotes a minimum of 30 minutes a day to reading. Join her as she passes on abridged versions of the topics she finds most interesting. Enhance your life by taking what you need and leaving what you don't!