Written by John Immel,
Start SmallExercise doesn't have to be overly strenuous and it shouldn't be! Gentle, daily exercise that induces a small sweat teaches your body proper metabolism over time. If you have to breathe through your mouth, your exercise routine is too intense. In Ayurveda, consistency is usually better than intensity. If you overdo it, you'll hurt your body and find it harder to keep up the pace. A five minute stretch can be a great start. Who knows, it may eventually lead to a daily 20 minute walk!
Build Confidence & Enjoy Your LifeGentle exercise is win-win activity. As it strengthens your bones, muscles, and circulatory system, activity also detoxifies your body, improves mental clarity, and reduces stress. It improves your emotional state and can interrupt the debilitating loop of sadness and depression. Over time you will begin to feel more confident. In Ayurveda, the emotional function of muscle tissue is confidence. You will notice as your muscles become stronger you will feel like you can do anything. You'll climb the stairs more easily, pick up your child without straining, get the new job you want, and feel happier in your skin.
As you exercise, focus on enjoying the outdoors rather than the thought "I am doing this to lose weight," or "I am doing this because I am supposed to." Attune your senses to the moment and environment as you walk or move, whether it's on a beautiful mountain path, a city street, or your living room.
Improve Your Performance at WorkHere's a tip: take a short walk in the afternoon on your break from work or at lunch, especially if your job involves sitting all day. It will keep your blood from feeling heavy and stagnant. Feel cold all the time? Daily exercise will keep your inner fire strong and you'll feel warm. Exercise also lightens up your mind and keeps you thinking clearly for the rest of the work day, as well as working out any aches and pains that may creep in during a long day of sitting.
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
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