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Exercise for your body and mind

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When you think of exercise, what comes to mind? A gruelling run? The elliptical machine? Lifting weights?

There are so many options for getting exercise besides the common workout regime. Not only are these options refreshing, but also great for your emotional health and wellness.

  • Yoga. Yoga originated in India and is a spiritual, mental, and physical discipline. Within a yoga practice, there are many different types of yoga. It really depends on what kind of experience you want from yoga. Some can be relaxing and meditative, while others can be more of a aerobic experience, also known as "power yoga". Some gyms offer yoga classes, or if you don't wish to start out in a public place, there is an array of DVD's to purchase to find out what best suits you.
  • Pilates. Pilates was originally founded by Joseph H. Pilates. During World War 1, Joseph helped rehabilitate injured and bedridden soldiers by rigging springs to hospital beds to exercise with resistance. He opened his first studio near the New York City Ballet and helped to instruct the ballet students. Pilates can be done with or without equipment. Some gyms also offer pilates classes or you can find many DVDs based on the works of Pilates. Pilates is about controlled movement using your core or abdominals as well buttocks, back, and thighs. The exercises may look simple but demand a lot of concentration because of the resistance against your own body and gravity.
  • Tai Chi is a type of martial art primarily developed by the Chinese for self-defense. It is a low impact exercise great for the elderly or those who just prefer a low impact type of exercise. Not only does it help to strengthen your body, but also helps with balance and coordination and has proven to help alleviate and stress, depression, and anxiety and improve overall mental health.
  • Meditation. This is great for calming your body and mind. Everyday we are constantly on the go, constantly thinking. Meditation allows us to calm our minds. The purpose is to think nothing. This may seem easy but can prove to be challenging! Regular practice of meditation can greatly reduce your stress and anxiety as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate. There are hundreds of different approaches to meditation to choose from.
  • Stretching. If you enjoy exercising or intend to benefit from the results of exercising and building muscle, then stretching is one of the most important aspects of a exercise regime. It helps to keep your joints and ligaments flexible while maintaining range of motion as well as keep them healthy and strong and help avoid injury from exercise.

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