Updated: Apr 24
After focusing the first two posts in the series on the importance of diet (part 1/part 2), it's time to give some attention to #movement and #exercise. As I've said in previous posts (here and here), exercise has always been a part of my life, not only because of its benefits for my #physicalhealth, but it also supports #mentalhealth. I'm an avid follower of Dr. Mark Hyman who is "leading a health revolution—one revolved around using food as medicine to support longevity, energy, mental clarity, happiness, and so much more ... He is the founder the Head of Strategy and Innovation of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and Board President for Clinical Affairs for The Institute for Functional Medicine.
Dr. Hyman says, "You can't exercise your way out of a bad diet, but exercise is absolutely critical for your wellbeing. Exercise helps me feel better, gives me more energy, helps me stay focused, improves my mood, helps me sleep better, controls my appetite and all the while I know it's preventing diabetes, cancer, heart disease, helping my bones stay strong and helping my immune system work better. . . We also know that being sedentary for a long time is very dangerous for your health. In fact, people who sit for a long time have as much risk of dying as people who have bad diets or people who smoke." Please let that last sentence sink in for a minute. Not exercising is as bad as smoking!
"Fitness is really critical. Now if you don't like to exercise, which I really don't, find a way to make it fun! Dance for half an hour in your room! Sometimes I do a 7 minute workout, it's something you can look up online, it's a super high intensity workout with jumping jacks, pushups, tricep dips, running in place. Try to vary your exercise and always try to have fun." For more about this, check out the video pasted below.
Okay we get it, exercise is important. But, how do we exercise during #covid19 when we are meant to stay home and be in isolation? We aren't supposed to have any gatherings and you may think that would nix group exercises, but so many fitness companies in Bangkok have gone online and are offering live workout sessions!
Their Facebook LIVE and IG LIVE sessions are really easy to use (and they're free!). All you have to do is go online in the app at the time of the class and you can join! Also on Facebook you can rewatch the live classes and replay the class as many times as you want. My friend Bookee is an instructor at Physique 57 and she says "Our exercise is a total body workout, focusing on low impact with high intensity exercises. Great for those who would like to have long, lean, and tone muscles. Give it a try, the class will definitely give you the burn!" I always told her I'd join one of her classes (never actually made it over before covid19), but little did I know my first barre class ever taught from her would be virtually from my bedroom! Here's a link to her latest workout focused on arms and thighs. I appreciated that she started with a warm up before getting right into the intense workout, and that she did a full cool down at the end.
Speaking of, it really is crucial to #stretch before and after a workout, and it's just as important to make sure that you do take the time to #rest (more about this in our interview with Salman Khan about weight loss and running). In a recent instagram post (@drmarkhyman), Dr. Hyman says "Give yourself a day or two off. It's important to remember that in order for the body to fully reap the benefits of exercise, it also needs a day or two of rest each week. Our muscles and bones need time to mend and strengthen after a challenging workout. This doesn't mean you should lay around and eat junk food all day, it's still helpful to get out on a mellow walk or do some light stretching on 'down days,' just be aware that high-intensity exercise can actually be stressful on the body when done seven days a week."
An effective option of exercise on rest days is #yoga, and for this I do almost one youtube video from Yoga with Adriene a day. Her list of free yoga videos is endless, from ones to do on days that you want to take it easy, like the one pasted below, to more intense ones when you want a real workout like this series focused on weight loss.
Since quarantine started, there have been a variety of fitness challenges that my friends and family have been participating in. For example, Salman started a 10K challenge on Instagram where he challenges you to run 10K, post it on your story and tag 10 more people to join in on the challenge. It's not about how fast you run, but about doing something together! Another example is from my cousin Pawan who's been participating in a 100 squats a day challenge. When I heard about this one I decided to join right away and invite more people. There's even a sister duo (Hi Anavi & Alekhya!) that has started an instagram account @plankathon2020 where they invite people to "plank 6 days a week for 1 month. Each day, add on 10 more seconds. Choose the duration of your first plank based on your own fitness goals!!! 💛🌟⚡" In order to motivate myself to complete the daily planks, I've partnered with cousin Sunaina and we go on Facetime to do it together! I also have daily check ins on Whatsapp with some friends (you know who you are!) where we each share the exercises completed to help drive each other! In a time like this, it's really important to stay connected to your tribe.
There is even a Facebook group that has been created here in Bangkok called Quarantine Tribe (thanks for introducing us to it Ashita!), where the lovely Christiana Mikesch started the group out of frustration because she said we need something #positive like this in our lives. Something #inspiring, something #motivating to get us going, especially since we have all the time in the world now to work on ourselves and make it better! The description of the group on Facebook says "This group is for everyone who wants to stay active, get some inspiration, do workouts, yoga, share quarantine recipes and meals and other activities that we can do during this time! Invite your friends & share this amazing thing that we will create together!" This is exactly what the world needs, people coming together to take care of their physical and mental health. They are hosting a Virtual Wellness Festival from today April 23rd to 30th where the goal is to treat your mind and body by bringing wellness into your own four walls. What an awesome initiative!
It will be 7 Days of Wellness with Premium LIVE Stream Classes by the best instructors, coaches, and teachers you can find online! Sweat it out, work on your flexibility or find a peaceful moment in the storm of current events. Enliven has collaborated with one of our partners Form Physio and Rehab to participate in this event, details of our offerings are below:
Lower Back Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches Date: Friday, April 24th, 2020
Time: 09:00 am - 09:45 am
Knee Pain Relief Exercises & Stretches
Date: Monday, April 27th, 2020
So there you have it - countless options for you to exercise and keep your mind healthy during covid19. Take your pick and have some fun! Our final post in the series will be focused on mindfulness and meditation. Stay tuned.
Written by Devi Bajaj
Executive Director of Enliven Concierge
Below are links to more details related to the information above: