Tips For Longevity
Warm Up Your Vehicle — Just as you would warm up your car on a cold day, warm up your body to start your day by doing gentle movements that are comfortable and gradually increase your range of motion to gently increase flexibility.
70% — 80% — When working out, learn to listen to your body and try to target 70% -80% of your max. Do neither too much nor too little. In trying to do 100%, it’s really easy to overdo it. This increases the possibility of injury or strain which requires extra recovery time.
Breathing Appropriately — There are many methods of breathing that can produce a variety of effects on the body. Certain types of Pranayama or Yogic Breathing exercises may be practiced for energizing the body, eliminating toxins or to induce relaxation and/or meditative states. Ribcage breathing is good for times when one needs to stabilize the core in order to protect the lower back. Whereas shallow chest breathing (which is usually associated with stressful emotions) does not fully expel carbon dioxide from the bottom of the lungs, Relaxed Full Breathing is one method that oxygenates the blood, expels carbon dioxide from the body, quiets the mind and allows for the release of tension and stress — Technique: breathing through the nostrils, begin your inhale by expanding the belly, then allow the breath to rise filling the lungs and expanding into the back of the ribcage. Next allow yourself to exhale from the back of the upper ribcage to the belly(pulling the belly in toward the spine to further expel carbon dioxide from the lungs). Key points: Follow the 70%-80% guideline for your inhale, so as not to become lightheaded; Keep the shoulders relaxed as you breathe; Release any tension that the body may be holding with every exhale.
Stretch Regularly — Before exercise and after. Static stretching is best done after workouts whereas dynamic stretching is best as part of a warm up and during exercise. Regular stretching increases range of motion, lessens muscular tightness and relieves tension. Greater mobility=Less stiffness=Increased ability to do more activities, “A limber body greatly reduces the possibility of injury” “A flexible spine is a young spine.”
Proper Posture/Body Alignments — proper posture reduces gravity’s effect on the body, allows for greater ease in breathing, aids in digestion, helps muscles and joints, keeps the spine healthy and allows for increased energy flow/circulation which is essential for prolonging life
Continuity of Movement/Exercise and Sweat — Continuing to move is the key to being able to continue to move. Exercising on a regular basis keeps the body healthy. Strength exercises can build stronger muscles, joints and bones. Cardiovascular exercise keeps the heart healthy, circulates oxygenated blood throughout the body and allows the body to eliminate toxins through respiration and perspiration. non-movement=stagnancy and eventually death, movement=life
Hydration — Drinking plenty of fresh water: increases energy and relieves fatigue; allows the body to expel toxins; aids in digestion and prevents constipation; prevents effects of dehydration such as dizziness, headaches, decreased metabolism, poor concentration, muscle weakness, dry skin and sunken eyes; keeps the joints more lubricated and the muscles more elastic to prevent cramps and sprains; and moisturizes the skin which improves the complexion
Optimal Fuel — When your body tells you that it’s hungry give your body the best fuel that you can give it. Eat slowly and listen to your body when it tells you that it’s full. If you can learn to listen to your body as it communicates with you and give it just the right amount of what it needs, you will feel great and the vehicle that is your body will function optimally.
Relaxation/Ease — relaxation while moving or sitting releases tension & reduces stress. As we hold on to tension in the body (this usually happens without us even knowing it’s happening) it increases the stress that we carry and manifests as tight muscles or knots in our muscles (usually in the neck and/or shoulders). Proper breathing helps us relax as we move throughout our day and allows us greater ease. Be easy on yourself and know that you are doing the best that you can.
Proper Rest/Sleep — While we rest/sleep is when the body heals itself and recovers. It is crucial that we give ourselves adequate time to rest and recover so as to have more energy to do the tasks that we need to do and do the things that we love to do.
Increasing/Circulating Chi (Lifeforce Energy) — increasing/circulating Chi makes a weak body healthy and makes a healthy body strong & vital (exercises such as tai chi, qigong and yoga can increase chi aka bioelectricity aka prana). As Chi (Qi) flow increases, blood flow also increases.
Unify Mind, Body and Energy — when the mind, body and energy is fragmented or worse in opposition, it is very difficult to achieve tasks/goals. Doing activities that unify the mind, body and energy (such as tai chi, qigong or rock climbing) is like getting everyone that’s on the same team to work toward the same goal at the same time. Things tend to happen much more quickly and with greater ease. The more you unify your mind, body and energy, the easier it is to keep your mind, body and energy unified for tasks that you may not necessarily wish to do, but need to get done. The sooner you get done what you need to get done, the sooner you get to do the things that you want to do and the more time you have to do them.
Laughter — Laugh often. “Laughter is the best medicine.” Laughter boosts the immune system by increasing antibody producing T cells, relieves pain by releasing endorphins, lowers blood pressure (when people laugh blood pressure first increases, then it drops below normal), improves breathing and circulation which protects the heart, works the abdominal muscles, and helps relieve depression by reducing tension, stress, anxiety and irritation.
Do What You Love To Do — this gives us the fuel and energy to do what we don’t necessarily love to do. As you do what you love to do in small increments regularly, you are nurturing joy in yourself on a regular basis. This is a great way to prevent burnout and depression.
Balance — “Life is a great balancing act.” Practice exercises which require balance in order to improve balance and embody balance. Balance all aspects of life/self (physical, mental, emotional, energetic, exercise, work, play, relaxation, learning, nurturing/teaching/guiding/sharing, giving, receiving) for greater ease. imbalances=dis-ease