If you have never attempted yoga – now may be a perfect time to try it
Exercise doesn’t always have to be vigorous to be effective and for many of us fitness isn’t about smashing ourselves to have the perfect body – it is about maintaining our health and fitness so that we can have a better quality of life!
Exercise can be going for a walk with a friend, playing football in the park with the kids – I like to refer to exercise as moving and I always think that if it is fun there is a greater chance of continuing with it and having success in achieving your goals.
These days I see we all have such stressful busy lives, it is challenging to fit everything in and sometimes it is hard to take the time to care for ourselves and we find it more difficult to wind down and to relax – this is where I see holistic exercise as a fantastic solution as it incorporates fitness and relaxation all in one class.
Wellness classes such as Pilates and Yoga have become very popular for this very reason and recently there has been a real trend towards the introduction of holistic exercise in Toowoomba. Quite a few studios now specialise in Pilates, yoga and meditation classes.
If you have never attempted yoga – now may be a perfect time to try it and you may find that you have everything to gain and virtually nothing to lose by giving it a go. Not only can yoga improve your general health and fitness, as well as challenge the body, it can provide relaxation and pain relief depending on the type of yoga you wish to try. There is a yoga class to suit whatever you are looking for, whether you are 18 to 90 years of age, a beginner to advanced.
6 Reasons to give yoga a try
1. Pain relief – Yoga has been shown to assist pain relief, ranging from back, arthritis, joint pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia and much more.
2. Anxiety and depression – Yoga is a mind-body exercise, which means it benefits both you physically and emotionally. The combination of physical activity with mindfulness can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, improve sleep pattern and enhance overall quality of life.
3. Increase flexibility and balance – as we get older, our flexibility and balance can suffer greatly, which can increase our risk of serious falls and fractures. Yoga is a fun and effective way to assist in the prevention of future injury. As it maintains muscular upper body and lower body strength, flexibility, posture, improve your gait, and can assist in weight loss.
4. Better Breathing and Lung Capacity – if you suffer from any respiratory issue such as asthma than yoga could be of benefit to you. As it involves deep purposeful breathing, which can help to improve breathing capacity and respiratory function.
5. Improved Heart Health – by assisting in the reduction of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, blood sugar and stress.
6. If you are already exercising yoga could be a great exercise to incorporate into your regular routines as it will help to build core strength, stretch out those tired muscles and help to prevent injury.
This week could be the perfect week to try something new, and yoga could be just the thing you have been looking for!
You are never too old to make a change and too improve your life!
Just after the death of my husband and daughter, I did some work for the Toowoomba city council teaching an over 50’s exercise class in the park – it was a great experience and one that I value very much – as they supported me and made me smile and laugh at a very difficult time in my life without even realising it. You see they thought I was helping them but in reality they were helping me more. Something I will forever be grateful for.
Recently this group of wonderful people approached me to create a program for them through Shelley Myatt Fitness and Well-being. I am so excited to be launching the Turn Back Time program and I hope that over the next few months to add information talks and monthly challenges to make it a program with a difference, to get people thinking about creating lifestyle changes and not just turning up to do a weekly exercise class.
Evidence suggests that about half of the physical decline associated with aging may be due to a lack of physical activity in people’s daily lives. Maintaining your fitness has been attributed to preserving independence, assisting in a quicker recovery from illness and can help to reduce the risk of disease.
This week I would love everyone over the age of 50 to embrace the old saying “Turn Back Time’, as you are never too old to get started. Let this be the driving reason to get going today and start to make new and exciting changes in your lifestyle to improve your health and fitness.
Various studies have shown that it is never too late to get fit and the human body is designed to respond to exercise.
Here are nine reasons to start to move today
1. Exercise can improve muscle mass, strength and physical endurance
2. Increase coordination and balance
3. Increase joint flexibility and mobility
4. Assist in cardiovascular and respiratory function
5. Build bone strength
6. Decrease fat levels
7. Improve blood pressure
8. Reduce the risk of anxiety and depression
9. Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
If you are over 50, overweight, suffer from a chronic illness or if you have been living a fairly inactive life for a long time; I would like you to contact your doctor to discuss your new goals and work out the best way for you to get started.
If you have arthritis, osteoporosis, or advanced cardiovascular disease you may be limited with some of your physical activity and it would be wise to get medical advice about the types of exercise you should be doing.
Our lives are valuable not just to us but the people around us and taking the next step to improve our health and fitness will make our lives so much more enjoyable and easier , especially as we get older.
I know for me as I get older I want to be there with my family and friends and participating in their lives and activities – I don’t want to be on the side lines just watching.
So repeat after me “Turn Back Time - you are never too old to make a change’ and start taking a step today – even if it is a small walk around the block – it is a start.
“Strong body, Strong mind, Strong Spirit”.
Learn techniques for strengthening and protecting the pelvic floor during exercise.
Each week I talk to you all about staying fit and healthy, I try my best to motivate you all into taking steps to look after your entire body both inside and out. This includes our nutrition choices and the way that we exercise.
We all come from different life experiences which can often take its toll on the conditioning of the body. Over a lifetime of living, our body can start to develop imbalances, weakness and injuries and we often find the things we could do when we were younger we no longer can push ourselves the same way.
This by no means should be the reason to give up on exercise and your fitness goals. In fact, it can be used as the motivation to make some positive changes.
What it does mean is that we need to become more aware, recognise our limitations and learn to listen to what our bodies can and can’t do.
There are so many options for better fitness and health - it is a matter of finding the right way to exercise so that you improve and make progress with your goals and not hinder the results you are looking for.
Talking with your doctor, physiotherapist, and exercise professional may be the best way to start to explore options, especially if you have a health, medical condition or an ongoing injury.
One of the most common issues I find for women, after child birth and as we age, is pelvic floor weakness (men can also have pelvic floor weakness after prostrate surgery). It is one of those sensitive topics that can be difficult to bring up and discuss, but it is extremely important to find the right ways to exercise if you are experiencing pelvic floor weakness.
Some exercises put increased downward pressure on the pelvic floor, which can weaken the muscles and connective tissues these – especially with repetition and over time. A weak or damaged pelvic floor can contribute to disorders like incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, so making sure it is not strained during exercise is important.
Moderate exercise and being healthy is beneficial for the pelvic floor, but you need to be aware of the risks and learn techniques for strengthening and protecting the pelvic floor during exercise.
Here are some examples of ways you can help take care of your pelvic floor:
Remember ‘Rome was not built in a day’ – so make sure you start off slowly and build your strength and fitness over time. It is better to set up the correct exercise routine for your body, one that considers your health, conditioning and end goal - then you can enjoy the results!
No Matter What Your Age
(Also published in Toowoomba Life Magazine)
Shelley Myatt is the owner and operator of Shelley Myatt Fitness and Well-Being, Columnist, Life Coach & Motivational Speaker based in Toowoomba, Qld.