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Iceni Magazine | July 7, 2020

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Whatever work-outs work out for you

The best advice for those of us looking to improve our health and fitness is to do what we love.

In short, if we find a form of exercise or other healthy activity that we love doing for its own sake – we won’t think of this as work and we’re far more likely to keep it up. 

On the other hand, if we go all-out at the gym or exercise classes etc., but fundamentally find it hard work – we’re less likely to stick to resolutions.

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Remember, too, that health and well-being isn’t all about exercise. Some of the people who radiate most beauty and wellness are those who are calm people – who also have a deep sense of spirituality. If you can achieve an inner peace, this seems to radiate out through your very being and others pick up on it. East Anglia is home to many alternative therapists and forms of exercise including yoga, chakra and many others.

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“Sunset Yoga” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by Andrew Kalat

Many people swear by chakra which originates from India. It is based on a number of energy nodes which are believed by chakra followers to be part of what is known as the “subtle” body, as opposed to the physical body. There are various chakra points in the body, but seven main points including the solar plexus chakra which is situated above your navel and below your solar plexus, for example. This chakra is believed to be linked to our powers of transformation and to oversee our digestive system – so may be an ideal starting point for those of us on a programme to improve our well-being this summer. 

It’s really all about finding what works for you. For some, the mind and body approach of chakra, yoga, and other techniques are where it’s at – whilst for others, it’s more about explosive exercise like playing squash, sprint cycling, or Zumba classes. Others prefer longer steadier exercise like distance cunning or swimming etc. The point is that if you believe in its efficacy in making you look and feel better and you enjoy it – it will work for you.

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zumba 2013 aug 003” (CC BY 2.0) by JBLM MWR Marketing 

Of course, life isn’t quite that simple. There are many times when we don’t feel like going to do whatever form of exercise or activity it is that we’ve chosen. If this kind of reticence or apathy affects you – there are a couple of useful tactics to help combat it. 

Firstly – make arrangements to go regularly with a friend, or make a commitment to a membership of a class etc. In this way, you feel obliged to go even when you don’t feel like it – and you’re invariably glad you did go after the event as you always feel better.

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Alternatively, (and this works particularly well for those of us who do what may usually be solitary forms of hard exercise like cycling, running and swimming) allow yourself to pursue your chosen activity – but at a much reduced level as you really don’t feel like doing it today. This way of fooling yourself works well as you’ll usually do about the same level anyway once you get into it – and if not, you still feel better about yourself having done some exercise. 

Overall – try to enjoy it and see it as a pleasure; you’re looking after the person whose health is paramount to your well-being and your ability to help others; your own.

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