By Julie Luther
Here we are in the middle of quarantine, none of us able to gather in groups, take a lesson, or compete, and some of us are not even able to ride. Why not take this time to work on YOURSELF? When we are so overwhelmed with “life,” we tend to let our health take a back seat. Utilize these next several weeks to get back on track with your fitness and life goals. To help you along the way, I have created 9 tips from which to choose. I hope you find the right combination to keep your mind and body fit while stuck at home.
1 – Imagine yourself as a role model.
Who inspires you? Display a picture of them and then write a brief paragraph about how they inspire you. Then make a sincere attempt to adopt their success. What would they do in any particular situation? (Then do it.)
2 – Start each day with deep breathing.
Place a post it note on your bathroom mirror to take 20 deep breaths, 40 medium breaths and 40 fast breaths. Over time, this breathing method has been proven to clear out old negative thinking.
3 – End each day with meditation
Sleep is essential to good health. By meditating before bed, you will sleep more deeply and begin a lifelong ritual to keep you more focused and less stressed. There are plenty of meditation apps to choose from, I started with 5-minute meditations because I KNEW I could do that. Start short and if you feel like going longer, do so, but 5 minutes is better than no minutes.
4 – Think of yourself as a beginner.
Be willing to listen and learn…even if you THINK you are going to hear or learn the same tired advice. Think like a newbie; you might just find out something you heard before really works, OR you might actually do what you heard before, OR you might hear something new. I am sure there are plenty of YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram posts to help you try something.
5 – Stray from the herd.
If you are going to change your behavior, you will probably need to change your playmates and your playgrounds, and right now during quarantine that means what you are watching on your computer, phone, or TV. Start watching YouTube videos that espouse healthy habits, my channel Julie Luther has tons of core and strength exercises, and I am sure you can find healthy chef’s sharing how to cook healthy meals.
6 – Mini Movements Count!
Stand up and sit down at the kitchen table 20 times, go up and down your stairs 10 times, perform 20 pushups off the kitchen table, and pick up a chair and put it back down 5 times. Now you can go back to watching Netflix.
7 – Use technology
Put an app on your phone that will count steps, OR help you keep up with calories, OR build you a network of new fitness friends, OR play music to keep you energized.
8 – Stretch
As equestrians, there are many muscles that need to stay flexible. I believe that the chest is the most forgotten yet most important one to keep open. The best way to do this is to open a door and face away from the handles, then place each hand on a doorknob and walk away until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds 3 times a day.
9 – Journal
Keeping a daily journal of your activities and habits, along with your thoughts and feelings, will help you discover what habits lead to feeling your best. Once a month, read over your journal and jot down what makes you feel the best and adopt more of those habits into every day.
Julie Luther is an Exercise Physiologist, corrective exercise specialist, and dynamic flexibility certified personal trainer, as well as an equestrian. She owns PurEnergy fitness Center in Greensboro, NC and has been helping folks reach their fitness goals since 1985. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at PurEnergy Fitness Center, and check out her website at www.julieluther.com