Physical Health:

Aspects of Recovery

Alcohol and drug use greatly impacts out physical health negatively. It depletes our energy, nutrients, vitamins; saps our strength and reduces our strength. (See Alcohol and Other Drugs-there are links to different drugs and the effects they have on our bodies.)

Entering recovery with our addressing your physical health after drug use is a crucial component of your new life. This isn’t about losing or gaining weight, although that may be a part of your needs; this is about taking care of your body for your continuing journey.

Fitness program: 5 steps to get started

Starting a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. Physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight — and even improve your sleep habits and self-esteem. And there’s more good news. You can start a fitness program in only five steps.

Physical Health

1. Assess your fitness level

You probably have some idea of how to fit you are. But assessing and recording baseline fitness scores can give you benchmarks against which to measure your progress. To assess your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility, and body composition, consider recording:

  • Your pulse rate before and immediately after walking 1 mile 

  • How long it takes to walk 1 mile, or how long it takes to run 1.5 miles  (Start with 1 block, or one flight of stairs-remember -this is a journey!)  

  • How many standard or modified push-ups you can do at a time

  • How far you can reach forward while seated on the floor with your legs in front of you

  • Your waist circumference, just above your hipbones

  • Your body mass index  (Click the link below to obtain yours)

2.  . Design your fitness program

It’s easy to say that you’ll exercise every day. But you’ll need a plan. As you design your fitness program, keep these points in mind:

  • Consider your fitness goals. Are you starting a fitness program to help lose weight? Or do you have another motivation, such as preparing for a marathon? Having clear goals can help you gauge your progress and stay motivated.

  • Create a balanced routine. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. Greater amounts of exercise will provide even greater health benefits.

    But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefits.

    Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.

  • Start low and progress slowly. If you’re just beginning to exercise, start cautiously and progress slowly. If you have an injury or a medical condition, consult your doctor or an exercise therapist for help designing a fitness program that gradually improves your range of motion, strength and endurance.

  • Build activity into your daily routine. Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. To make it easier, schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment. Plan to watch your favorite show while walking on the treadmill, read while riding a stationary bike, or take a break to go on a walk at work.

  • Plan to include different activities. Different activities (cross-training) can keep exercise boredom at bay. Cross-training using low-impact forms of activity, such as biking or water exercise, also reduces your chances of injuring or overusing one specific muscle or joint. Plan to alternate among activities that emphasize different parts of your body, such as walking, swimming and strength training.

  • Try high-interval intensity training. In high-interval intensity training, you perform short bursts of high-intensity activity separated by recovery periods of low-intensity activity.

  • Allow time for recovery. Many people start exercising with frenzied zeal — working out too long or too intensely — and give up when their muscles and joints become sore or injured. Plan time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.

  • Put it on paper. A written plan may encourage you to stay on track.

3. Assemble your equipment

You’ll probably start with athletic shoes. Be sure to pick shoes designed for the activity you have in mind. For example, running shoes are lighter in weight than cross-training shoes, which are more supportive.

If you’re planning to invest in exercise equipment, choose something that’s practical, enjoyable, and easy to use. You may want to try out certain types of equipment at a fitness center before investing in your own equipment.

You might consider using fitness apps for smart devices or other activity tracking devices, such as ones that can track your distance, track calories burned, or monitor your heart rate.

4. Get started

Now you’re ready for action. As you begin your fitness program, keep these tips in mind:

  • Start slowly and build up gradually. Give yourself plenty of time to warm up and cool down with easy walking or gentle stretching. Then speed up to a pace you can continue for five to 10 minutes without getting overly tired. As your stamina improves, gradually increase the amount of time you exercise. Work your way up to 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

  • Break things up if you have to. You don’t have to do all your exercise at one time, so you can weave in activity throughout your day. Shorter but more-frequent sessions have aerobic benefits, too. Exercising in short sessions a few times a day may fit into your schedule better than a single 30-minute session. Any amount of activity is better than none at all.

  • Be creative. Maybe your workout routine includes various activities, such as walking, bicycling or rowing. But don’t stop there. Take a weekend hike with your family pr friends,  or spend an evening ballroom dancing. Find activities you enjoy to add to your fitness routine.

  • Listen to your body. If you feel pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea, take a break. You may be pushing yourself too hard.

  • Be flexible. If you’re not feeling good, give yourself permission to take a day or two off.

5. Monitor your progress

Retake your personal fitness assessment six weeks after you start your program and then again every few months. You may notice that you need to increase the amount of time you exercise in order to continue improving. Or you may be pleasantly surprised to find that you’re exercising just the right amount to meet your fitness goals.

If you lose motivation, set new goals or try a new activity. Exercising with a friend or taking a class at a fitness center may help, too.

Starting an exercise program is an important decision. But it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. By planning carefully and pacing yourself, you can establish a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime.

Yoga - A Healthy Fitness Choice

Yoga-A Fitness Alternative

 

Yoga-A Brief History

The practice of Yoga is believed to have started with the very dawn of civilization. The science of yoga has its origin thousands of years ago, long before the first religions or belief systems were born. In the yogic lore, Shiva is seen as the first yogi or Adiyogi, and the first Guru or Adi Guru.

Several Thousand years ago, on the banks of the lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, Adiyogi poured his profound knowledge into the legendary Saptarishis or “seven sages”. The sages carried this powerful yogic science to different parts of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa and South America. Interestingly, modern scholars have noted and marveled at the close parallels found between ancient cultures across the globe. However, it was in India that the yogic system found its fullest expression. Agastya, the Saptarishi who traveled across the Indian subcontinent, crafted this culture around a core yogic way of life.  

Today, millions of people across the globe have benefited by the practice of Yoga which has been preserved and promoted by the great eminent Yoga Masters from ancient times to this date.  The practice of Yoga is blossoming, and growing more vibrant every day.  

By Dr. Ishwar V. Basavaraddi-mea.gov.in/

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.

There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense. Others are gentle and relaxing.

Examples of different yoga forms include:

  •  Hatha. The form most often associated with yoga, it combines a series of basic movements with breathing.
  •  Vinyasa. A series of poses that flow smoothly into one another.
  •  Power. A faster, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle.
  •  Ashtanga. A series of poses, combined with a special breathing technique.
  •  Bikram. Also known as “hot yoga,” it’s a series of 26 challenging poses performed in a room heated to a high temperature.
  •  Iyengar. A type of yoga that uses props like blocks, straps, and chairs to help you move your body into the proper alignment.

Intensity Level: Varies with Type

The intensity of your yoga workout depends on which form of yoga you choose. Techniques like hatha and iyengar yoga are gentle and slow. Bikram and power yoga are faster and more challenging.

Areas It Targets

Core:  There are yoga poses to target just about every core muscle. Want to tighten those love handles? Then prop yourself up on one arm and do a side plank. To really burn out the middle of your abs, you can do boat pose, in which you balance on your “sit bones” (the bony prominence at the base of your pelvic bones) and hold your legs up in the air.

Arms:  With yoga, you don’t build arm strength with free weights or machines, but with the weight of your own body. Some poses, like the plank, spread your weight equally between your arms and legs. Others, like the crane and crow poses, challenge your arms even more by making them support your full body weight.

Legs: Yoga poses work all sides of the legs, including your quadriceps, hips, and thighs.

Glutes: Yoga squats, bridges, and warrior poses involve deep knee bends, which give you a more sculpted rear.

Back:  Moves like downward-facing dog, child’s pose, and cat/cow give your back muscles a good stretch. It’s no wonder that research finds yoga may be good for relieving a sore back.

Flexibility:  Yoga poses stretch your muscles and increase your range of motion. With regular practice, they’ll improve your flexibility.

Aerobic: Yoga isn’t considered aerobic exercise, but the more athletic varieties, like power yoga, will make you sweat. And even though yoga is not aerobic, some research finds it can be just as good as aerobic exercise for improving health.

Strength:  It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Regular practice will strengthen the muscles of your arms, back, legs, and core.

Sport:  Yoga is not competitive. Focus on your own practice and don’t compare yourself to other people in your class.

Low-Impact: Although yoga will give you a full-body workout, it won’t put any impact on your joints.

Cost:  Varies. If you already know your way around a yoga mat, you can practice for free at home. There are free classes on Youtube; videos and in-person classes are available in the community from free to various amounts of money.

Good for beginners?  People of all ages and fitness levels can do the most basic yoga poses and stretches.

Locations:  You can do yoga anywhere, indoors or out.  New yoga groups include animals, such as goats or llamas (yes- that’s right-Goat Yoga & Llama Yoga).  You can practice at home with a yoga mat or small rug, or anywhere you are comfortable.  

Equipment required:   You don’t need any equipment because you’ll rely on your own body weight for resistance. But you’ll probably want to use a yoga mat to keep you from sliding around in standing poses, and to cushion you while in seated and lying positions. Other, optional equipment includes a yoga ball for balance, a yoga block or two, and straps to help you reach for your feet or link your hands behind your back.  https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/a-z/yoga-workouts

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