Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Wellness Wednesday Feb 7
Welcome to our second Wellness Wednesday link up in 2018! Back on January 10, I wrote about the link up and my three wellness goals for January here. Today, I'm providing a progress update, setting new wellness goals for February, sharing my favourite cardio exercises, three suggestions, and linking up with a group of fabulous bloggers who are also on this wellness journey.
My January wellness goals progress update:
1. Meditate 15 minutes daily: Yes, I've been meeting this goal. The short duration works well for me. I meditate in the morning to set a positive start to my day. In the evening, I do it at bed time and add deep breathing to help me fall asleep.
2. Exercise one hour daily: Yes, in January I did my 5K morning walks, fourteen workout sessions in the gym, eleven yoga sessions at home, two swimming sessions, and four 5K runs on Sundays. The community pool that I use was closed on January 26 for about four months so I replaced my Saturday swims with walking or yoga.
3. Smile or laugh daily: Yes, I've been meeting this goal as well. It would be funny if I didn't, ha! By writing it down as a goal, I remember to find humour every day. The smiling or laughing out loud has made me more relaxed in my day-to-day approach to life matters.
My February wellness goals:
Now that I've established good wellness habits in January, my idea is to layer on new goals in the coming months. Using Valentine's Day in February as my cue, I'm adding two social goals to my list of wellness goals as follows:
1. Meditate 15 minutes daily.
2. Exercise one hour daily.
3. Smile or laugh daily.
4. Enjoy two family outings on two different weekends.
5. Attend two piano recitals with my friends.
My favourite cardio exercises:
Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises our heart rate. Some of the cardio exercises that I've done over the years include walking, running, stair climbing, swimming, elliptical, high intensity interval training, jumping rope, jumping jacks, shadow boxing, cycling, and indoor rowing.
Walking is my favourite since it's the easiest, simple, free, no training required, and I can do it just about anywhere. I can increase my walking distance, or my speed, or add a few flights of stairs or hills to get a good workout.
When I have access to a gym or a pool, my favourite cardio exercises are elliptical and swimming laps. Both elliptical and swimming have low impact on the knees. With the elliptical, I can change the incline to activate more muscles, or do high intensity intervals to make it more engaging. With swimming laps, I can change up the strokes so that I work all kinds of muscles and the continuous pace works my heart and lungs.
My three suggestions:
1. When you first embark on (or resume) an exercise program, focus on consistency, as opposed to intensity. For example, start with a low-intensity routine of 30 minutes, two or three times a week, until you have a solid routine. If you've recently recovered from an illness or injury, check with your physician before embarking on an exercise program.
2. Always do warm up before doing cardio exercises and cool down after doing them. This prevents injuries and muscle tightness.
3. Once you have a consistent exercise routine, make small, gradual changes to your cardio exercises to engage your mind and moderately challenge your body. There are so many ways to inject freshness into our exercise routine and to get more out of our exercises. I've named some examples above. I'd also balance cardio with other types of exercises to use different muscles, avoid wear and tear on the same muscles, and include 'rest' days to allow for recovery.
February is Heart month. I hope you'll take up a cardio exercise that makes your heart happy and healthy.
How are you doing with your wellness goals? Any tip to share?