Is there any doubt about the relationship of stress to health? While most of us would agree on the negative impact of stress on our health, for most of us there is no way around getting stressed, especially during the holiday season. Whether we are caught in horrendous 101 traffic, managing an ever-increasing work load, or juggling finances - there is so much cause for stress.
During the holiday season (also dubbed the "silly season") a routine exercise practice can help you to weather the increased social activity and exposure to colds and flu.
Yoga and Pilates are great ways to achieve your physical health goals while also managing your stress levels. The more you put into your Yoga or Pilates practice, the greater the rewards. As a Novato Yoga and Pilates instructor I have seen amazing results first-hand.
Yoga isn't only for the flexible and fit. In fact, if you feel you couldn't possibly do yoga, it is likely that it would be especially beneficial to you. People with no experience in yoga often make quicker progress. The ones who find yoga most challenging, think they are not flexible or skinny, and can't seem to quiet their minds seem to get the most gain after just a few sessions.
For all you ever-busy Novatans, here is my one suggestion for helping you start off 2013 healthier and happier:
Start every day with just a few minutes of stretches and exercise. If you don't know what stretch or exercise to do, I suggest finding a gym or yoga teacher that can suggest a few to start with. Even if your schedule is crazy, you can always fit a few minutes sometime in the day! With regular practice, amazing things begin to happen: you'll feel stronger and more flexible (important when schedules seem packed, as flexibility is key to not feeling overwhelmed!)
When you exercise and stretch regularly, your posture improves, allowing for better cardiovascular function. If your muscles are knotted up, your body's natural immune system gets bottled up. The lymph system, which generates and stores the white blood cells that fight infection, is powered only by your breathing and movement.
In addition to the physical benefits, are the mental and psychological effects. If your body feels more relaxed, you don't tend to worry as much, problems don't seem to get to you as much. Maybe there will be a lot more "Ho Ho Ho" in your holidays.