Between work and family commitments, it’s fair to say that most of us have very busy lives.
Time is valuable and unless you’re very disciplined and organized, one of the things that often gets neglected or pushed down the list of daily tasks and priorities when we are busy is our fitness.
And I can definitely relate to that myself.
But you need to remember that sitting has been branded as the ‘new smoking’ and I think we’re all pretty clear on how bad smoking is for us. So, movement and exercise are a crucial part of staying healthy.
Use it or lose it, as they say.
Keeping fit and healthy should be right at the top of our to-do list, but yeah, we know – life doesn’t always work like that.
So, what about those of us who don’t want to (or simply cannot) commit a big chunk of time every day to working out?
What if you’re not one of those perfect people who blog about getting up at sunrise to go for their beach-side jog, followed by the superfood smoothie for breakfast, before heading to the little café with a view and sipping skinny lattés while working on their job as a digital nomad until they feel like heading home for a nap?
What if you’re more like the rest of us?
What if the reality of actually waking up at 5.30am every morning is just not do-able for you? (And you’re far from alone there, by the way.)
Or maybe you hate morning exercise, full stop?
Well, a great solution could be a 10-15 minute gentle yoga routine in the morning, as soon as you get up. And that means you only need to get up 15-20 minutes earlier than you normally do.
How does that sound?
I mean, come on – surely you health is worth dedicating 10 minutes of your time every day?
And the great thing is, once you’ve done it, it’s out of the way and you can get on with the daily grind, safe in the knowledge that you have done something good for yourself today, while most others were still snoozing in bed or looking at their phones.
If you didn’t know already, yoga is a low-impact form of exercise with numerous benefits and here of some of them below!
1. Yoga boosts energy levels
Daily life can be exhausting and in addition to a well-balanced diet, the introduction of yoga into your world can bring the added benefit of boosting your energy, improving your mood and keeping you active throughout the day.
2. Yoga improves focus
Yoga is probably one of the oldest methods of improving concentration and focus. In a society of often seemingly incessant distractions, stresses, and irritations, yoga can provide a welcome oasis of calm in your head. There are various poses to help you focus and bring yourself into the present moment and frequent practice may support brain function generally.
3. Yoga tones your body
Yoga can be a full-body workout and a great way to tone your muscles. There are even studies to demonstrate this. Practising regularly will not add muscle mass like lifting weights will. And it won’t provide much in the way of fitness compared with an intensive cardio session. But it will build strength, flexibility and give you some muscle definition. Not bad for 15 minutes a day!
4. Yoga reduces stress levels
Yoga helps practitioners to reduce the feelings of stress that the modern world can bring. Focusing on the poses you are holding and synchronizing movements with breath encourages you to ‘quieten your mind’ and take a break from the hustle and bustle.
Related ~ The Best 20 Apps For Stress Relief
5. Yoga improves digestion and boosts metabolism
Ayurveda, which is considered to be the science of yoga medicine, says that our overall health is determined laregly by the health of our digestive system.
Early morning yoga gives your digestive system a kick-start and helps it not only to metabolize carbohydrates and fats more easily, but also to absorb vitamins and minerals and release toxins more effectively.
6. Yoga prevents injuries and aches
Yoga stretches and lengthens your body and increases spine flexibility, which help prevents injuries and encourages better posture.
This is especially important if large parts of your day are spent sitting down at a desk and working on a computer. Building muscle memory by regularly holding yoga poses will help to counteract the damaging effects of sitting.
7. Yoga helps you breathe better
Breathing deeply, in a calm and controlled manner is an essential part of practising yoga. Pranayama, which is the yogic practice of controlling the breath, focuses on slowing down your breathing and taking full and deep breaths from the pit of your stomach, right to the top of your lungs.
Breathing is important (duh, obviously), but breathing properly and fully can help increase lung capacity and the ability to take in and process oxygen, which the body needs to function efficiently.
If you’re new to yoga, start with this great 15-minute routine for beginners that you can use in the morning or anytime, in fact.
This is the routine I started with. It is nice and gentle and there are no moves that are particilarly challenging, so an excellent little foray into the amazing world of yoga!
Once you have done this daily for a few weeks, you will have created the habit of getting up a bit earlier and will have started to condition your body to yoga. Then, you can start looking for more advanced stuff.