Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cardio, Yoga, Strength

I'm sitting here with rosy cheeks. I feel slightly exhausted which feels good. My lousy mood of today is like blown away. I was outside and walked. My goal was to take my daily  10,000 steps. My fit-bit tool says that I walked 7,935 stepy by now. I almost was downtown. To walk 10,000 steps, if one doesn't want to jog takes a very long time. I thought cardio training would complement my yoga practice. To be honest I think cardio training is boring.

What is cardio training? 
One repeats tiny movements again and again. The speed might change. It can be nice to be outside. But that's it. There is scarcly any variation that could make this activity more interesting. Walking, swimming, going by bicycle are typical cardio activities.

Why cardio training?
It shall strengthen the cardio-vascular-system. It's good for the heart, so to say. Sounds good. If it weren't that boring and so time-consuming.

I decided to walk much more as cardio training. Quickly I realized that I need good shoes. Not only this. The sole needs to get repaired rather soon. Or one buys new shoes. I have already red parts on the sides of my feet.10.000 steps, this is something. And in the last weeks I walked even more. The air in a big city like Munich is not so good.

Perhaps I should alter these 3 activities. Walking, swimming and going by bicycle during the summer month could be an idea to make the training for the heart more interesting.

BUT, more important for me is my yoga practice. The strength of yoga is that it's the best stretching activity that I know. Yoga makes flexible. The body and hopefully the mind, too. Yoga has almost no influence on the cardio-vascular-system. One gets stronger, but it's not enough. In order to accomplish some of the challenging asanas like laghu vajrasana it might be necessary to add strength training. Just doing it for 5 breath is definitely not enough.

Strength training is also very important, especially when we grow older. Strength training is very rewarding. Three times a week is enough. Within 30 min a lot can be done. Breaks are important. The practice is sweaty and my heart rate goes up. Results can be felt very soon. I don't want to lift weight. I tried a training that uses my own body weight. This is enough for me. That way my joints don't have so much stress.

Indeed, the fitness industry grew in the last decade. So much material is available. It can be a challenge to find valuable information. It's possible. I read so much during the last month. It can be rather confusing. In the meantime I got an overview again.

I want to do all this effort to stay fit as long as possible. This is one of the promises of diligent yoginis. This practice can help to stay fit. Am I also a bit vain? Perhaps, yes. My body is what I have. I live with it 24 hours every day. I love to take care of this perfect instrument of the divine.

Facing the obstacles can give a lot of energy. Keep practicing. 🏆


Kaivalya said...

I have a Fitbit and also aim for 10,000 (or more!) each day. On long walks, I find that audiobooks and podcasts keep me entertained and I enjoy it more. This might work for you too. Cheers! :-)

Ursula Preiss said...

Wow, thank you for this idea. Really.

Do you use your phone to listen to audiobooks? What gadget do I need?
I must try this.

Anna said...

I don't own a car and for years I've walked everywhere - and carried heavy shopping (and been rained on). Just these past two weeks I walked all over Manhattan - literally walked many kilometres per day. I don't find walking that marvellous for fitness - I'm not very fit - even climbing four flights of stairs hurts my legs. And carrying the heavy shopping over the years has hurt my shoulders. Walking can be extremely boring. My friend downloads podcasts and listens to them on her iPhone but I don't like being outside and wearing headphones/earbuds. Maybe walking is over-praised as a fitness exercise. I know in my own experience that I need to increase my heart rate - otherwise it's useless to walk and walk and walk. It just tires me out without increasing fitness. I am interested in doing a small set of physical exercises daily. That's been proved effective over decades. I think that, to a large extent, exercise has been co-opted by consumer capitalism. Fitness is big business. We need to not get so sucked into that and get back to basics -- our mothers' and grandmothers' generations. They didn't join gyms, nor did they walk long distances every day, nor did they drink litres and litres of water every day. I want to keep to a simple regime and stop searching and switching.