In her latest book, "Yogalosophy for Inner Strength," Mandy Ingber, yoga teacher to Jennifer Aniston, looks at how the practice of yoga, along with meditation, self-care, nutrition, and even music, can help everyone maintain optimum wellness and find resilience even during the most stressful and trying times.
Here, Mandy shares 10 of her favourite exercises to uplift, support and strengthen both body and mind for a healthier and happier you, not only through challenging periods but through all stages of life.
I've chosen spinning as a cardio movement to try in difficult times because it provides a place to channel emotions into energy while sitting still in the moment. It doesn't matter if you are angry or deeply sad, as either emotion will ignite your legs.
Grounding hike or beach walk
Choose a natural setting — a park, woods, beach, or quiet path — where you can be away from the ordinary noise and business. Your hike should be 45 to 90 minutes at a pace that feels comfortable. Walk barefoot where possible for added health benefits such as reducing stress, relieving tension headaches, and enabling deeper sleep.
Take a walk in your neighbourhood to connect with your surroundings. This is not a rote exercise, but an exercise in being present moment to moment. Say hello to people and make eye contact. A neighbourhood walk can change your day and immediately make you feel less alone.
In the ocean, in a lake, or in a pool. If you swim in a pool, swim in the deep end. If you're able to dive, I dare you to dive. This will invoke the feeling of courage that it takes to do so. Courage does not mean you do not feel fear. It is feeling that fear and going forward anyway — that is brave.
Playful childhood activity
Jumping rope is one of the most challenging cardiovascular exercises available and it reminds us of when we were kids! So I highly recommend this. But if you're not drawn to it, try something else fun. Maybe a hip-hop dance class, or samba. What calls to you and makes you feel young? Do that.
Active yoga class
Yoga can also be cardiovascular. Hot yoga will bring the heart rate up because of the high temperature in the room. Vinyasa flow yoga, also called power yoga, will get the heart pumping from the continuous flow of movement. Remember to hydrate before, during, and after class.
Do a full 30 minutes of cardio on a rebounder to reinforce that mentality of bouncing back to your natural state of health and beauty.
Lift your heart, strengthen your bones, and build your intimacy with the self by working past your edge. Weight training is another option for making your heart healthy. It strengthens blood vessels and makes your heart strong. Other benefits include regulating blood pressure and cholesterol.
You can run on a treadmill or run outside. You can run on the beach or on a track. It doesn't have to be a marathon, or even that consistent. You can walk for five minutes and then try running for five minutes. Running is clearly amazing cardiovascular work, so try your version of a run this week.
Dance is an awesome cardio movement, and there is no better way to commune and celebrate than to dance.