Exercise · Weight loss · Workout · Yoga

When Life Gets in the Way Just Keep Going.

I really do need to practice what I preach!

I thought I was doing so well, then I was committed to a project for several hours per day for the last week. My progress went for shit, and I think I weigh more now than I did before Christmas. If it wasn’t for my Fitbit telling me to get up and move, I know I would have had a lot less steps than I did.

I’m happy to say that project is now in a box in my Jeep, ready to be mailed to the publisher. It really has been a thorn in my side, but at the end of the day, it has also been the connection to my late husband’s roots. And for that I am grateful.

When I packaged up the USB, index cards, and family histories tonight, I was very ready for a glass of wine. But as ready as I was, I opted to have some milk instead. The fact I hadn’t eaten supper didn’t help, so I figured milk was the better choice.

It’s all about the choices we make, no matter what’s going on in life. We can choose the wine and overdo it; or we can choose the milk and give our bodies the vitamins and minerals it needs. I will be honest; had I chosen the wine I wouldn’t be writing this post. I’d probably be playing Yahtzee or one of my other games on my iPad.

Granted, sometimes we don’t have any control over what happens. And it’s those times that we have to be thankful for the times we do have options. I know that by making even the simplest decisions I am helping myself become a better person. That’s not to say I won’t choose the wine tomorrow, but not having it tonight proves I don’t need it to celebrate a project completed.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

Tonight was also the first time in over a week that I did anything with my yoga hammock besides use it to balance myself when I was taking off my jeans. It felt good to stretch out in it and do a few easy poses. I like it for the Bridge Pose because it’s much easier on my spine than when I’m on the floor.

I also like to stretch my sides by curling to my right, then my left while laying on my back in the hammock. It’s essentially the same thing as standing on the floor and leaning to one side or the other, but with a better stretch because you don’t have to keep your balance in check. At least that’s my opinion.

You may think I’m choosing the easy way, but for me it works. And that’s what it’s all about; choosing whatever works for us at this point in time. Don’t let others tell you what you should be doing, such as a full cardio workout when your body isn’t ready. Take your time, but also give yourself a little push further with each workout.

I generally do five reps of the Bridge Pose, but tonight I did ten. Will I feel it in the morning? Yes, most likely. But I’ll have also given my muscles the extra stretch they’ve needed, since so many hours have been spent sitting in my computer chair and bent over a stack of papers at the table.

As I wrap up this rambly post, I’ll leave you with this: no matter how far you think you’ve fallen behind with your workouts or what have you, you can always choose to start again. It’s okay to be back at square one, because life happens. What’s not okay is to give up.

What do you do when you have a setback? Let me know in the comments below.

Exercise · Weight loss · Workout

Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions; Make Lifestyle Changes.

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends, and that you made some wonderful memories.

I’m trying to get back into some sort of a routine myself. I’m sure it’ll be easier now that January is here. I do have one more family function on Saturday the 7th, as we will be celebrating Ukrainian Christmas at my older sister’s house. We’re planning on taking family pictures as well; the first since Ukrainian Christmas 2020.

A lot has changed in our family since then. Some changes were good; some were not. But had even one of those changes not happened, it’s hard to say what I’d be doing now. Chances are I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this post.

But, it’s not a time to dwell on the past, or wonder what could have been. I’m working on concentrating on the here and now, and looking forward to the days ahead. And those days will turn into weeks, months, and years before we know it. Time does have a way of passing us by, doesn’t it?

With the new year comes a list of resolutions for many. I myself stopped making resolutions years ago. I figure if I don’t make them, then I won’t feel so shitty about myself when I don’t see them through.

I am taking a new approach; or rather modifying one I have been working on for the past few years. My approach to the new year is simple: do better than last year. Whether it’s exercising more consistently, spending more time with family and friends, or simply being grateful for what I have.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

Instead of concentrating on being X amount of pounds by a certain date, I’m going to simply add a few minutes to my exercise goals each week. The way I see it, if I watch what I eat and burn some extra calories I will be gradually losing the excess weight. By not focusing on the scale reading (which I find myself doing more than I should) I should be able to notice the difference in how my clothes fit.

Muscle is heavier than fat, and not seeing the numbers drop can be disheartening. I do need to remember to pay attention to how my jeans fit, as opposed to being aggravated when the scale says I haven’t dropped much. It’s hard to not step on the scale every morning, but I am going to try and limit myself to stepping on it once a week. The daily ups and downs of the numbers makes me feel like I’m not making any progress.

It’s why I’m working on designing a planner/journal that will help me focus on the progress I have made, rather than on what I didn’t do. My goal is to have it finished by the end of the week so I can start recording my steps, active minutes, water intake, etc. My exercise record will obviously be different from yours, but I think I have a good start on what to include.

The photo below is of the Daily Page in my Planner-in-Progress. What would you include based on your lifestyle/exercise routine?

I added the puzzles as a placeholder for other information. I do have the ability to include different puzzles if it’s something you would like to see in a planner. Sometimes we just need to have a little fun too, instead of work, work, work. Plus brain games are good for us too. We need to exercise our minds as well as our bodies.

By making the little changes (hence the habit tracker) we can gradually become healthier versions of our current selves. I know I’m on the right track, and I hope I can help you get to where you want to be as well.

Exercise · Low-impact workout · Weight loss · Workout

Your Relationship with Food; and How To Find a Healthy Balance

I did it! I made it through Christmas without gaining back the couple pounds I lost since I started my journey.

My goal was to lose 5 lbs by Christmas, but I only lost 2 lbs. I’m not discouraged in any way though, because I’m on a healthier path than I was even a month ago. And if you didn’t meet your goals, that’s okay too…because any active minutes you have accumulated is better than none.

We often spend our time pointing out the things we haven’t done, especially when we’re on the path to becoming healthier. And trust me when I say I was one of those people too. As life happens, sometimes we can’t control what we do in a day. Nor can we control every bite of food we eat.

As I have become older and wiser, I know there’s more to life than being obsessed with what I weigh. Life is short, and getting by on bland food and not enjoying what we eat is, well, a crock of (insert your word here). I know there are others out there who live on salads and rice cakes, but I am not one of them. I like my Ukrainian food, steak, chicken, and the occasional burger. And this holiday season was definitely filled with a LOT of Ukrainian food.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

Now as I’ve said in previous posts, I am not a yoga instructor, nutritionist, or anything of the sort. I am, however, a woman who has learned to have a healthier relationship with food.

I like my junk food as much as the next person, and have the biggest sweet tooth out there. I am learning as I age that I can enjoy what I like, as long as I increase my activity level to burn off the extra calories. I have also found that if I let myself have more of the foods I like, I don’t tend to overindulge.

I’m sure you’ve had the same experience at least once. Stick to a diet, then a holiday comes along and you eat everything you haven’t allowed yourself in weeks, or months. And then the feelings of guilt (and nausea) set in, because you ate too much and your body isn’t used to any of it. It is then the vicious circle begins, and you starve yourself for weeks once again…until the next special occasion comes along.

What’s the trick?

I hate to burst your bubble, but there really isn’t a trick or magic formula when it comes to weight loss. It’s simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume.

And speaking of which, be sure to consume a healthy amount of good calories. That includes fats, proteins, carbohydrates…all the things some diets say you don’t need. Our bodies are meant to move, and food is our fuel.

Have you noticed obesity is becoming more of an epidemic? Have you also noticed it never was a problem a few short decades ago? Why is that you ask?

The problem is our sedentary lifestyle combined with the convenience foods we are all so quick to consume. I can’t deny I’m as apt to buy quick meals as opposed to preparing everything from scratch. (It was definitely easier to cook from scratch when there was more than just me to cook for.) I enjoyed cooking for Christmas Dinner; and I now have healthier leftovers because I made too much. (I tend to do that, no matter what I make.)

The bottom line is this: enjoy the food you love, but in moderation. And stay active. Go for walks, do yoga, find some low-impact workouts you can do, or use the shovel or push mower instead of the snowblower or ride-on mower. Walk to the store instead of taking the bus or the car if you live in a town or city. If you’re out in the country like I am, go for a walk around the perimeter of your property to get your steps in. Or if the weather isn’t nice enough to be outside, turn up the tunes and dance around the living room.

No matter where you live, make activity a part of your day. Burn more calories than you consume and you’ll gradually lose the 5 or 50 lbs you want to; but remember it takes time. And make sure you’re getting your calories from healthy sources. Stick to the 4 food groups and the recommended daily servings and you’ll do just fine. Fad diets don’t generally work, and you don’t learn healthy eating habits by starving yourself.

If you’ve gotten through Christmas on a healthy note, good for you! If you haven’t, then keep trying. It takes time to build healthy habits, so don’t let a setback discourage you.

I’m thinking about a 30-day challenge and would love your feedback. Please vote in the poll below for your favourite.

Exercise · Low-impact workout · Weight loss · Workout · Yoga

Cold Weather and Your Workout Schedule

I do have to say; I’m glad I don’t have to go outside today. We have hit one of our deepfreezes of the winter. It’s not the first, and it definitely won’t be the last. When I checked my weather app this morning it said we were at -34 Celsius, with a -43 Celsius windchill. BRRRR!!!!

I know some of you can’t even fathom how cold that is. For me, it’s a reality every winter. In all honesty, I’ll take it over the volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters so many parts of the world have to endure. I know it’s not going to last, and we do get some reprieve throughout the winter. By next week we’re supposed to be a balmy -7 Celsius, which will feel like summer.

When it’s cold like this, going for a walk or a run outside is not safe. Not only does it hurt one’s lungs, but the danger of frostbite and hypothermia is greater. That’s all the more reason to have an exercise routine you can do inside. Plus, it’s not even safe to be out on the roads in this temperature; so going to the gym should not take priority over safety. I do realize travel is necessary, especially when you have to get to work.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

I do have to venture out again before the weekend, so I’m hoping Friday is a little nicer. Until then I will stay inside and get my baking, wrapping, and the rest of my decorating done. I’m hosting Christmas Dinner this year, so am looking forward to family being here.

Even with the winter winds blowing and the snow falling, I have been able to maintain some degree of activity. When my Fitbit tells me I’ve been sitting too long (which often happens when I’m working), I get up and set my timer for even 5 minutes. I’ll do a short low-impact workout to get the blood flowing and the metabolism kick-started. If I have a little more time, I’ll set the timer for anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes. It’s those longer sessions that really can get the heart rate up, even by just walking quickly in place. I do try to mix in a few different moves to work other muscles. (For some ideas check out the video I have in the right sidebar.)

Don’t let your weather stop you from getting your workouts in. Turn on some upbeat music and do some quick walking in place, and add in some kicks, punches, and squats. It’s amazing how many steps can be racked up in a short time. Even if your mobility is limited due to injury, you can improvise. I have an old shoulder injury that I have to baby, but I don’t let it stop me from reaching up as high as I can. (However, I do tend to overdo it sometimes, and pay for it.) Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself too hard.

In the new year I’ll be recording more yoga and low-impact videos. I’m currently waiting on some additional recording equipment so I don’t have the issues I did with the first yoga one I did. And no, it’s not on my YouTube Channel because I couldn’t figure out how to flip it vertically. For some reason it recorded it upside down, so I look like I’m hanging from the ceiling. 😛

I’ve invested in a wireless microphone and a tripod that’ll hold my iPad at the right level. Hopefully with the additional equipment I can do a better recording than the last one. However, that first one was to get me out of my comfort zone. Plus I’ll learn more about editing and video production while I walk off the extra weight I’ve been carrying around. It’s all part of the learning curve when trying something new.

The next few days are going to be busy ones. I’ll try and sneak in another post before Christmas, but if I don’t get one in I’m going to take this time to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy the time with family and friends, and don’t feel guilty about the extra calories consumed. If you’re laughing and enjoying yourself, those calories will be burned up before you know it.

Have you experienced the frigid temperatures I’ve talked about? Or do you live where ice and snow never make an appearance? Let me know in the comments below.

Exercise · Workout · Yoga

Benefits of a Yoga Hammock

Yoga hammocks are becoming increasingly popular as a means of enhancing yoga and exercise routines. If you’re looking for a way to take your practice to the next level, a yoga hammock may be just what you need! From improved body alignment and flexibility to increased core strength, the benefits of incorporating a yoga hammock into your routine are numerous. Not only does it provide an extra layer of support, but it adds a fun new dimension to any exercise session.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

How to set up

The most important part of setting up is to make sure you have a solid structure for your hammock. Without a strong support you can easily be injured if the hammock falls while you’re using it. If you’re unsure of the structural integrity of the ceiling in your home, or screwing in mounting brackets is not an option it’s best to get a frame designed for yoga hammocks.

I own my home so do not have to worry about losing a security deposit because of the holes I drilled into my trusses. Even with following all of the installation instructions for the mounting brackets, I was still apprehensive about putting all of my weight in the hammock for the first time. Slow and steady is the way to go, and listen for any creaks or groans and the sound of wood splitting. Fortunately I didn’t have any trouble, and I was able to begin using my hammock shortly after installation.

Different exercises

Yoga hammocks have been gaining traction in the fitness industry, especially amongst yogis and aerialists alike. They offer a unique way to build flexibility and balance while having fun at the same time. If you’re interested in adding a yoga hammock to your practice, you’ll need some exercises to get started. Here are just a few of our favorite moves that you can do with your yoga hammock!

The first move is an inverted pull-up; it’s great for building strength and stability as well as improving your balance. Start by lying down on the floor beneath the hammock, then grab onto either side of it with both hands. Inhale deeply and use your core strength to pull yourself up into an inverted position, suspending yourself above the ground for a few seconds before gradually lowering back down again.

The tension of the fabric supports your weight as you move through different positions, allowing a greater range of motion than on solid ground. As well as stretching out tight muscles and strengthening weak ones, it also helps to build strong core muscles which is important for maintaining good balance. With each exercise you can feel yourself getting stronger and more flexible while having fun at the same time!

Three other popular poses are the Rainbow, Deep Swing, and Straddle Superman. The Rainbow pose involves stretching forward in the hammock while extending the legs and back behind you. For the Deep Swing pose, the feet come together in front of you and the chest lowers into the fabric. This pose provides an intense stretch for the shoulders, hips, and spine. The Straddle Superman pose is great for flexibility and strength as you pull yourself up by your arms with a flat back in an upright position from a seated position on the hammock. Try these yoga hammock poses today – your body will thank you.

My new yoga hammock.
Safety tips

One of the most important things to do before using your yoga hammock is to ensure its stability. If you have yours mounted in the ceiling with brackets, give it a steady tug (no sharp yanks) before you start each time. If using a frame, be sure the legs are all in the proper position and that all parts are in place. No matter how many times you’ve used it, take the couple of minutes to be sure all is still stable and in place. Your safety is #1.

One thing to keep in mind is to always ease into your hammock gently. It’s better for you and the fabric to not have any jarring movements. Even if you’re using a frame, plopping down into the hammock can cause unsteadiness. A yoga hammock is much the same as an outdoor hammock; ease into it, otherwise you could end up on your butt on the ground/floor.

Something else to keep in mind is to be sure you have enough clearance if you’re practicing inversion moves. Be sure the base of the hammock is high enough so when you do your flip you don’t hit your head on the floor. Having a crash mat is beneficial, so if you do slip the shock is absorbed.

Benefits for yoga

Yoga is a great way to stay healthy, gain strength, and find inner peace. Practicing yoga on a yoga hammock is even more beneficial, as it has many added benefits that help your yoga practice. A yoga hammock helps build strength and stability in the body by allowing for controlled movements with the support of the fabric, making poses easier to access and achieve. It increases muscular coordination and reflex response by encouraging you to use multiple muscles simultaneously in order to maintain balance. Additionally, the fabric helps open up hard to reach muscles, providing a deeper stretch than is possible on most mats.

Benefits for exercise

Incorporating a yoga hammock into your fitness routine can be an excellent way to increase strength and muscle tone. This type of equipment allows for easy flexibility training, targeting difficult-to-reach areas and supporting body weight in order to really challenge the muscles. Designed for stretching and strength building, this piece of equipment can work wonders for anyone’s strength training regime. You’ll also enjoy the feeling of being suspended and relieved from gravity – a sensation that is just out of this world. There are no downsides to including a yoga hammock in your next workout.

Wrapping it up

Yoga hammocks are a great way to enhance your yoga or exercise routine. They provide support and add a fun new dimension to any session. If you’re looking for a way to take your practice to the next level, consider incorporating a yoga hammock into your routine. Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Have you used a yoga hammock before? Let me know what you thought!

Exercise · Low-impact workout · Workout

3 Ways to Sneak in Your Workouts When You Don’t Have Time

Do you find yourself losing momentum with your workout routine?

We’ve all been there. Life takes over and the workouts suffer. Ask me how I know.

Last week I talked about starting with small workouts, and I feel that little talk also applies to when you can’t fit in a longer one. (And, I need to practice what I preach.)

It’s so easy to let life take over, especially when you haven’t gotten into a set routine yet. For me it has been watching my granddaughter and helping my daughter with their move. Although, keeping tabs on a baby who has started crawling can be a workout in itself. 😀

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

Break up your workout time.

If you’re used to setting aside an hour straight a day for exercise, break that time up into smaller increments. There’s nothing wrong with doing mini-workouts. You’re still benefitting, because something is better than nothing. Do a 10-minute low impact workout at different times of the day when you can’t commit to the whole hour at once.

Change what you do.

If your usual workout happens at home or at a gym, and you’re not at either, do something different. Business often takes people away, and only the super-committed will find a gym so they don’t miss their workouts. (I know people like that, but I am not one of them.) And if you’re visiting family or friends chances are they don’t keep the same schedule you do. A 10-minute brisk walk can not only raise your heart rate, but it can also clear your mind. 10 minutes is better than zero minutes.

Incorporate your workouts into your day.

I know not everyone works from home like I do, and some days can get hectic. If you work in an office building with more than one floor, take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you have access to a park, have your lunch there (weather permitting) and go for a walk afterward. Walk while doing errands if possible to get some extra steps in.

If you can’t get away from your desk, another option is to do some sitting workouts. You need to move your body to keep the blood flowing. Even something as simple as leg-raises can be done while sitting. (Just a note here: it’s not as easy as it sounds. I just tried it and can now see how chair workouts are just as intensive as standing workouts.)

Wrapping it up.

Life can throw a curveball at anyone at any time. Instead of making excuses for not sticking with your routine, find other ways to make it work. Sure, it won’t be what you do on a regular basis, but it will be something. Walking in the park instead of on the treadmill, taking the stairs instead of using the stair climber at the gym, and a few minutes of chair exercises will all help raise your heart rate and burn some extra calories.

What do you do when your routine gets messed up? Let me know in the comments below.

Exercise · Low-impact workout · Weight loss · Workout · Yoga

How Long Should My Workouts Be?

I don’t know about you, but everywhere I see exercise programs advertised there’s always a huge time commitment needed. Let’s face it, we all don’t have an extra hour or three to dedicate to exercise.

Everyone is looking for that “magic number” when it comes to how often and how long your workouts should be. I’m not one to give you a definitive number, because in all honesty, my thought is this: any exercise is better than none.

I’m also not saying go hard for two minutes and then don’t do anything else for the rest of the week, because that doesn’t work either.

5 Factors to consider.

When starting any workout, there are a few things you should consider before you go all in.

  1. Your current state of health. This is something many people overlook when starting an exercise program, and it can have detrimental effects. If you have any health condition it’s always better to consult your physician first.
  2. How active you are now. If your activity levels aren’t high, don’t push yourself too hard right off the start. Not only do you risk injury, but you also risk giving up altogether when you ache for days after. I have been in this position one too many times, which is why I am starting slow this time around.
  3. What you want to achieve. Do you want to be more physically fit? Or do you want to lose weight? Be realistic in your goal and timeframe in which to achieve it. Don’t set a goal that’s impossible to reach, such as losing 20 pounds in a week. That’s not only hard to do, but also not a healthy weight loss. (A healthy weight loss is around two pounds per week.)
  4. How much time you can realistically devote to a workout. If your job takes up 10 hours of your day, plus you have home and family responsibilities, don’t expect to have a one hour workout on top of it all. That’s not going to pan out more often than not. And face it, if you’re that busy you’re going to need to rest at night, not overtax your body.
  5. What you enjoy doing. This is something that’s often overlooked when one begins a new workout routine. Make it something you enjoy, such a walking, yoga, pilates, swimming, or hiking. I like walking and yoga, so I know I won’t stick to going to the gym if I got a membership. Plus, I prefer to do my workouts on my own. Joining a group is not my thing. Do what works for you; not what others say you should do.
Consistency is key.

As with most things in life, we get better results when we work at something regularly. The path to being healthier is no different.

Instead of changing your eating habits or workout schedule drastically, make little changes. Add a few extra veggies to your plate. Cut back on the sweet desserts and try fresh fruit instead. Spend 10 minutes walking in place instead of an hour, and work your way up.

The point is to do something, anything, to get to where you want to be. For example:

Say your goal is to do a low-impact workout for an hour five days a week. That’s great, but if you’re not used to doing a workout for an hour you risk injury (yes, even doing a low-impact workout). Plus you also may find it more of a chore than time taken for yourself. Start with a 10 minute workout a couple times a day, and work your way up to the hour five times a week. Chances are you’ll find the shorter sessions more doable.

Find a time that works for you too. Such as 10 minutes before your workday starts, a 10 minute workout during lunch, and another 10-20 minutes in the evening. With breaking it up you’ve done 30-40 minutes in a day, and given your body the little boost to raise your metabolism so you burn more calories for a longer period.

There’s no set time limits on yoga or low-impact workouts. My advice to you is to do what works best for you. If 20 minutes at a time works, by all means, go for it. If you only have 10 minutes, you’re still moving and raising your heart rate. And as I said earlier, any exercise is better than none.

Move your body, raise your heart rate, and you’ll see changes in how your clothes fit. Be kind to your body, but also be consistent.

My workouts tend to be 10 minutes at a time, and I’m trying to get at least three or four in each day. The motivator is usually when my Fitbit tells me I’ve been sitting in my chair for too long.

What type of workout schedule has worked for you? Let me know in the comments.

Exercise · Low-impact workout · Weight loss · Workout

Low Impact Exercises for a Healthier Body

Exercise is a vital component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and there are plenty of options out there. Low impact exercises are great alternatives for people who can’t engage in more strenuous activities due to physical limitations or age. Whether you’re an adult over the age of 50, someone with limited mobility, or just looking for low impact exercises to add variety to your regular routine, this post will provide insight into the benefits and options associated with these types of workouts.

What are low impact exercises?

Low impact exercises involve less strain on your joints than high impact exercises such as running and jumping. Examples include walking, biking, swimming and water aerobics. These are all excellent ways for people with joint issues or limited mobility to stay active without putting too much stress on their bodies.

This is the main reason I chose to find a workout I can do. Age and knee injuries as a young adult have taken their toll. High impact exercise just doesn’t work for me.

Who can benefit from low-impact exercise?

Low-impact exercise is beneficial for everyone but it is especially useful if you have joint issues or other physical limitations that prevent you from engaging in high-impact exercise. It can also be beneficial if you’re trying to build strength without the risk of injury or strain on your joints. If you’ve been inactive for a while due to life circumstances, low-impact exercise is a great way to ease back into fitness without risking injury by doing too much too soon.

Do low impact exercises burn calories?

Yes! Low-impact exercise can still be effective when it comes to burning calories and building strength. Depending on the activity and intensity level, these types of workouts can help you reach your fitness goals just like any other type of workout. However, because they put less strain on your body, they may take longer than high-impact workouts such as running or weightlifting to see results.

I personally don’t count calories but I do know I burn more during a low-impact workout than I do just walking. My Fitbit tells me how many calories I burn over the course of the day, and the graph gives me a further breakdown on how many I burn each hour. The photo below is from today (December 5, 2022). I burned 1731 calories so far, and the spikes were while I was doing my mini workouts. The lows were while I was sitting at my desk working on my computer.

Spikes were during my workouts.
How long should each workout be?

The amount of time you spend working out depends on the type of activity and intensity level you choose. It’s okay to start with 10 minutes once or twice a day, and go up from there. Any amount of activity is better than none. The goal is to get your heart rate up, and believe me when I say low-impact workouts will do just that. No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to consult your physician before starting, especially if you’ve had surgery, have been ill, or have a medical condition.

Wrapping It Up

All in all, low-impact exercise is an excellent way for people who have physical limitations. Or for those who simply want an alternative form of exercise to stay active without putting excess strain on their bodies. With so many different types of activities available such as walking, biking, swimming and water aerobics, there is something available for everyone regardless of their current fitness level or physical abilities. Plus these types of workouts still offer the same calorie burning and muscle building benefits.

Have you heard of or tried low-impact workouts? Let me know in the comments below.

Exercise · Workout · Yoga

Creating a Space for Your Yoga and Workouts

I don’t know about you, but I find it’s easier to stick to a workout routine when the space is ready to go whenever I am. It’s easy to just say “I’ll do it later” when there’s some prep work needed to do a workout or yoga.

Yoga Benefits

Before I get started with creating your space, I want to share some of the benefits yoga has to offer.

Firstly, it can greatly improve flexibility. You may not be able to put your feet behind your head the first day (I know I can’t), but if you work at it it’s a possibility. Truth be told, I’m not even sure I was that flexible as a kid. My luck I’d probably get stuck in that position. 😀

Secondly, it can improve balance. I don’t know about you, but I find the older I get the more my balance seems off. Some days I’m afraid to get up on the stepstool to reach things; especially if there’s nothing close by to steady myself. I’m looking forward to not having to worry about teetering to one side or another.

Thirdly, it can improve posture. I am the first to admit my posture isn’t the greatest, and sitting at my computer for hours sometimes doesn’t help my cause one bit. The poses focus on posture, breathing, and steadiness, so I see it as a win no matter what.

There are other benefits as well, such as weight loss, mindfulness, strength, and more. I’ll get into more of those as time goes on. For now though I’m going to get on with what you’ll need.

Beneficial Equipment

When it comes to yoga, you really don’t need any equipment, but having a few things is definitely helpful.

If you’re going to invest in anything yoga, I suggest a good mat. There are several on the market, but they’re not all equal.

I have two types, and I prefer one over the other. If I could find the features of both in one mat I’d be happy. The first one is thicker, but is made from a smoother material, which means it slides all over. The second is my preference, although it’s thinner. It does, however, have a non-skid design. That in itself is a plus, because I really don’t like my feet sliding out from under me. I’m in search of a thicker, wider mat with the non-skid design.

Both of mine are standard size (6′ X 2′), but if you can get one that’s a little bigger I say go for it. The length is okay because I’m short, but it could be just a little wider. As it is now, when I lay on it my arms are generally touching the floor unless I have them pulled in close. Not a good size for a taller person, or if they’re a plus size.

Something else I recommend is a yoga block or two. If you don’t have one, a rolled up towel does the trick too, but I prefer the block because it doesn’t shift or unroll. It’s great for knee support and also head support when doing the on-your-side poses. I only have one block, but will be adding another to my arsenal in the not-too-distant future.

Aside from a yoga hammock (something I’ll get into in more detail in a future post), the mat and block is all I use. I haven’t invested in anything else as of yet, aside from resistance bands. I haven’t used them during my yoga practice though, so will leave them out of the equation for the time being. (I have used them as part of some shoulder exercises I needed to do for physiotherapy though.)

My mat and block; cat destruction not visible.
Preparing Your Space

When it comes to your space, you want it to be warm and comfortable. Temperature is a key component of an enjoyable yoga session. You don’t want to be in a drafty or cool room, because you won’t be able to fully relax if you’re shivering.

You also want it to be spacious enough to accomodate a mat, room for stretching out, and an extra foot or two for the lunges and warrior pose. And I don’t know about you, but no matter what I’m doing, I usually end up off the mat at some point during a yoga session or workout.

Designing The Space

As mentioned in the space prep above, you want enough room for movement. You’re also going to want it to feel welcoming and relaxing. If you’re fortunate enough to have a room dedicated to your yoga, you can paint and design it as you see fit. However, my guess is you’re taking up a corner of the living room or space in the bedroom to do your workouts. If that’s the case, read on to see how you can add comfort and style.

Adding Comfort & Style

Whether you have a room or just the corner of one, it’s important to be able to get into the ‘zone’ when it comes time for yoga or your workout. By adding a big cushion or two, an area rug (if you have hard flooring), an essential oil diffuser (or candles), and a folding screen (especially for shared spaces) you can create a welcoming space. Add a sound machine or turn on your music of choice, and get your yoga (or workout) on.

Although my new house is spacious, I have chosen to set up my space in my bedroom. The master suite is 16′ X 19.5′ so I have plenty of room for my bed, dressers, and workout area. Plus, if I have company coming over I don’t need to put anything away; just close the door. I also chose my bedroom as it is one of the warmer rooms in the house, especially now that winter is here.

Cleaning & Maintenance Tips

When it comes to cleaning your workout space, you don’t need to do anything aside from regular washing/vacuuming of floors, giving your mat a wipedown at least weekly (and more often if you’re getting your sweat on), and wiping down your blocks and other equipment. If it’s just you using it, a simple solution of vinegar and water or a mild cleaner is sufficient. You could use a sanitizing spray, but soap and water is fine.

If you’re sharing the space with others in your household, keep mats rolled up and tucked away. Using a laundry basket or hamper is ideal to keep your mat and equipment in so you and others aren’t tripping over it whenever you turn around. Just a word of advice: if you have cats put your mat in a bag of some sort to protect it. They love using yoga mats as scratching posts. (My cats now live outside, but when they were little they chose my yoga mat over the cat tree they were supposed to be using. And as I was taking the picture for this post, I realized my block has also seen some of their wrath.)

Wrapping it Up

Beginning yoga is one of the easiest things to do, and least costly. Having a designated space is nice, but the middle of your living room will work just as well. Get out your mat, blocks (or rolled towels), and music…and get your yoga on.

I’ll be going into detail on poses within the next couple of posts, but if you’re ready to start now there are plenty of videos on YouTube. (I’ll be linking to my own videos as I record them.)

Do you have a designated space for yoga and workouts, or do you have to share the space with others in your household? Let me know in the comments below.