Today, as I look out at a foot of snow and ice, I thought I would sample Qigong and Yoga to get the body moving indoors. My neighbor is a fan of Qigong Baden-Baden and sent me a link. I tried Lesson 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SliEplK_Ss.
I liked that the movements were slow and graceful so I could keep up and not strain any body parts. The deep breathing and slow releasing breaths seem to be part of every exercise regime. A physical therapist once told me that slow abdominal breathing helped lymph flow. Each move had a delightful name that described the movement, such as “row to the middle of the lake.”
According to this link to the Cleveland Clinic, Qigong could lessen depression symptoms, help with chronic fatigue and mental functioning. Adherents claim it boosts the immune system and improves well-being in people with cancer. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-qigong/
Then it was off to a Yoga video. Several years ago, a group of us from work took yoga classes. I recall lots of stretching, holding positions, and that only one of us mastered the “downward dog.” (It wasn’t me.) I realized if I tried to revisit those moves now, I would need help getting off the floor, so I chose chair yoga. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DYH5ud3zHo.
After this session, I felt I had stretched and challenged muscle groups more than I had with Qigong. Of the two, I preferred yoga, but doing both covers more bases. Here are some benefits of yoga. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-yoga#TOC_TITLE_HDR_12
Benefits of Good Old Housework
Stretching, reaching, moving arms, walking, and sometimes lifting provide exercise and help relive the winter blahs. These ancient practices keep people active into old age. I remember when my grandmother said, “I could hardly get down the stairs this morning, but when I finished scrubbing the floor, I felt better.”
Yes indeed, good, old fashioned housework. It’s great exercise, and looking at now spotless rooms, lifts the mood —unless you do prophylactic housecleaning to prevent dirt. Then you would not notice any effect of your hard work.
I guess the bottom line is we need to keep moving as much as we can and not stress over it. When the snow disappears, I will take walks at the pace and distance that make me feel good. Until then housework, yoga, and Qigong must do for now.
What are your favorite winter exercises?