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Spring into Action with Renewed Energy

The sun has returned! And, as natural living beings, it is normal for us to feel a breathlike resurgence of energy. Spring is the time of year for a renewed sense of liveliness and vibrant energy. Some of this newfound energy will likely be spent on household chores that had to wait out the cold winter season to be addressed. Similarly, picking up a new exercise routine or stretching into a current one more fully is an excellent way to utilize this gift of spring energy. Regular exercise benefits our health, including stabilizing blood pressure, regulating blood sugar levels, and a better mental health outlook, among many others. That being said, there are many ways to incorporate exercise into our lives, each supporting our physical and spiritual bodies differently. There is no exact answer to which exercise program would be best, as each body reacts individually, but join us below as we dive into a few highlights of different programs that you could start today!



 

Aerobic: Endurance and cardiovascular activities work on your large muscles rhythmically and continuously. They can help strengthen your heart and prevent heart disease and many other chronic diseases. When engaged in cardiovascular activities, your body will work to maximize the amount of oxygen in your blood. While your capillaries dilate to work more efficiently and carry away waste products like carbon dioxide and lactic acid, your body releases endorphins, natural painkillers. Fun new aerobics to try: Zumba, swimming, speed walking, and biking! My pick is Zumba. It’s such a fun time! You get to meet new people and move your body in a way that sparks joy. 


Strength & Balance: As we age, balance and core strength exercises each become a sort of lifeline. Strength and balance not only help improve coordination but also help prevent injuries. Balance exercises train your brain to react quicker and more efficiently to stumbles or falls. By implementing strength exercises into your regular routine, you’re likely to build and maintain muscle mass, which can help prevent types of muscle wasting that often occur with aging. Strength training can also help increase bone density, reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially in older adults, and improve joint stability. Give it a try! There are plenty of pilates and yoga classes for free on YouTube, too. I particularly like Yoga With Adriene.




Weight-bearing: Often overlooked, weight-bearing exercises can be a crucial missing element to your workout routine. They train your skeletal muscles not just to get stronger but also to increase your body’s capacity for endurance and reinforce other body systems. Skeletal muscles work to regulate glucose uptake, and they’re responsible for around 80% of glucose uptake after eating. This helps regulate blood sugar levels as well as insulin sensitivity. Weight-bearing activities also bolster bone health as well as support metabolic health. Some weight-bearing activities to try are cross-country skiing or a cross-country ski machine, deep water walking, stair stepper machine, indoor cycling, or gentle weight lifting. 




Lifestyle: According to Blue Zone research, the world’s longest-living populations don’t pump iron at the gym or commit to ultra marathons. Instead, they live within environments that find them moving naturally and often. They work in their gardens without the “conveniences” of modern mechanics, so instead of sitting on a tractor to grow too much food, they work intentionally with their bodies. By implementing natural movement into their daily lives, it’s more likely that they’ll find ways to stay active rather than needing to book time at the gym. These are activities anyone can put into practice every day. Wonderful lifestyle movements to try: gardening - you can always volunteer at Woodside Farms . Walk when you can - to your friends’ houses, to the post office, or even to the store for small items, and use hand-operated tools and appliances for household chores.

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