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Day 18 - February Fitness Challenge
Today's task asks us to be still... sit or lay comfortably, and breathe, for 15 minutes.
This may sound like a simple task but it can be incredibly challenging for people who are used to being on the go all the time or overthinkers of the world raise your hand (me 🙋♀️).
It has taken a lot of practice to learn to take time to just be. I find it easier when I'm out in nature but am making it more of a priority to take time daily to check in with myself. This can be a form of meditation, art therapy, journaling, music, stretching, or simply doing breath work. The idea is to slow down and tune in.
For this challenge find a spot to get comfortable whether it be sitting or laying down, put on some comforting music or relaxing sounds, and start to notice your breath. There is no right or wrong to this, simply set a timer for 15 minutes, concentrate on your inhales to exhales, and if you find yourself thinking about something else continue to refocus the mind back onto your breath. As an added task, here are a couple different methods to try:
Sensory: Feel the temperature of the air as you inhale (through your mouth or nose) to fill your stomach like a balloon. Once full, contract the stomach muscles, attentively feel the stomach shrinking in size, as you follow the air back out. Take note of any smells, tastes, temperatures, feelings, sounds as you do this.
Increasing or Decreasing Count: Choose a number, either start at 1 and count up or start at your favorite number and count down. I prefer this exercise with open purpose, so I would recommend counting up and seeing how high you can get before losing count then starting again. I use the decreasing count method to help me sleep (99-1) or to make myself get to tasks I'm putting off, put down my social media scrolling, or to do something I'm nervous about doing (5...4...3...2...1...Do it).
Heart Regulation (The Ultimate Calm): This is where the magic happens. It's a proven method of use by Dr. Allen Watkins... you can watch part 1 and 2 of his Ted Talks (from one of my previous blogs) by clicking <HERE>. The basic rule of thumb: inhale to a specific count, pause, exhale to a specific count, and pause before repeating. It could be a 4:4 count, 5:7 count, or 5:5 count... pick a number that feels comfortable to you. Just keep the inhale number the same as the following inhales and the exhale number the same as the other exhales. This type of systematic breathing evens out our heart so we can perform at optimum performance. It takes us from over-stimulated to calm when practiced consistently. 🙂 Try it out.
You can mix and match these methods if you'd like.
Grab a quiet space and get to breathing.
Let me know how you find it.
Fitness Focus: Core and Back Stretches
Do you favorite or watch my video below for instructions.
Well Day 18... I hope you found value.
How have you been doing?
Any questions, message me anytime.
Once you've completed the day... comment below with your findings and progress, I'd love to support you while we challenge ourselves one day at a time. #DayOneAlways mentality with #believeagainfitness effort will create the #healthylifestyle consistency we need. Social media hashtag #februaryfitnesschallenge2021 and be sure to have FUN.
We've got this together.
🌹 Take care all and much love.