The team at Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne,Edgecliff,Marrickville,Bella Vista, Randwick, Lindfield and Balmain understand the physical strain our bodies can endure. Today, Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Angela Vitucci, discusses the benefits of being nice to your body and participating in some low intensity, low impact activity to release stress and strain on the body and making you feel good too, using her own experience as an example.

Younger Years

All my younger years, I was on sporting fields, going for runs, doing high intensity strength training, high intensity group exercise classes and thought that was the best thing for my health and fitness. I must say I did enjoy doing it and I thought yoga was the worst form of exercise and did not have the patience to “sit” through a session. Having a love for exercise, I did try it, but the few times I did, I ended up turning off the video half way through and going out for a run instead. I was never great at practicing mindfulness either, but looking back on it now, I think I never really gave myself a chance to.

From my professional experience, this is a common trend I see with clients and patients where our younger years are filled with hours and hours of high intensity, high impact activity, however there is a turning point in our life, somewhere, where we learn to listen and look after our bodies.

The forced turning point

A heart diagnosis at the age of 20 forced me to change my exercise routine. I had to stop playing sport and was told by a number of health professionals to limit exercise intensity. I was in denial for a few years after the diagnosis and just wanted to be like every other person in their 20’s doing whatever I wanted to do, exercise wise. I did stop playing competitive soccer, however I continued strength training, played the odd social sport and continued going for jogs all because I felt like that’s what I needed to do in order to maintain my body composition and mental health.

From my personal experience, I see many people who have just had their first medical diagnosis or injury and need to change or adapt their exercise routine. With time and a thoroughly planned out, well rounded exercise routine, the individual begins to love their new habits.

How walking and yoga have benefited me

It has been until this year, where I believe having more experience in my profession as an Exercise Physiologist, maturity, as well as experiencing more arrythmias and the stress and anxiety that has come with COVID-19, that I have actually realised I need to be kind on my body and I have taken the time to really delve in and enjoy the act of walking and yoga.  As I had more time, Covid-19 saw me going for long walks and enjoying the beautiful different walking tracks I found around my neighbourhood. I was relaxed when I went walking as I didn’t have a time or place to get anywhere afterwards. This has made me learn to prioritise my exercise, and ensure I have a big enough block, even if it is 2-3 hours, to ensure I can enjoy my exercise and am not rushing to get to the next task of the day. After a procedure on my heart in late September, I participated in 30 days of yoga (Yoga with Adriene). I knew my body was not up for long walks or lifting heavy weights but I wanted to move my body, and yoga was the perfect thing! I still do on average 2 yoga sessions at home per week. Little tricks I use to “get in the zone” include turning my phone on mute, put on mindfulness music and tell myself “this is me time, I am doing it for myself and no one else”. From participating in yoga, I am feeling more flexible, improved posture, less stress and strain on my body. I am also able to reflect back on my relaxed state of mind when I experience an anxiety attack in my daily life, enabling me to calm myself and get on with the task at hand. Benefits I could never see possible beforehand.

Do not replace the physical activity guidelines

I still encourage everyone to meet, or build up to as much as possible, the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines, which are 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as brisk walking and cycling and a minimum of 2 resistance training sessions per week. However, in conjunction with reaching these guidelines, instead of doing 5 resistance training sessions and 5 runs per week, for example, give yourself a break and do some low intensity activity for your heart and soul.

This year has been a tough year for everyone, so go on and participate in a yoga session in your own home or join a class.  

For more information or enquiries contact Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain and Bella Vista on 1300 964 002.

 

Written by Angela Vitucci