Here at ilandco we know how hard it can be hard to fit in exercise to your already packed schedule.
Luckily we have Female Body-Mind-Life Transformation Specialist, Vanessa Bartlett create the perfect work out just for our ilandco followers below.
There comes a point in your health journey where you need to bring together awareness of your mind and body to take your wellbeing to the next level. To be healthy and fit on the inside and out you need to find that balance between being 'mindful' and being 'physically' fit.
'Mindfulness' has become a commonly used word to explain being 'centred' or 'present' within our own mind and energy. You would have heard many meditation or yoga gurus talk about this concept.
Why is it important?
Research has shown us that 'mindfulness' can:
-improve your immune system
-improve your emotional health
-improve your memory
-improve your general wellbeing
Good physical fitness involves:
-cardiovascular health (aerobic work like walking, jogging, circuits, interval training x 3 week for 30 minutes)
-core and abdominal / back strength
-total body strength
Now couple 'mindfulness' with a decent level of physical fitness and you will really see results take place with your body shape, mental health and general wellbeing and vitality.
There are many ways to work on each of these components, but the problem I have found by working on everything individually is the time it takes.
You want to do something efficient and time-savvy, right?!
Breath connects the body and mind
Learning to flow your breath with each movement and slow down your exercises, focusing on technique is a great way to build the connection between the body and mind.
When you breathe deep and get your mind focused on precisely what you are doing, you will yield a greater result from the movements. You want to get to the point of almost 'meditating' during your exercise sessions to really that mindfulness and presence happening. It can be done!
Here's my top pick of exercises that can help you work efficiently towards achieving a better mind and body connection all in the one go. That means you will build your strength and reduce stress all at once :
1. Inverted Plank
How to do:
- Place hands under shoulders, extend legs out squeezing together
- Draw abs in, lift chest
- On the exhale, press hips upwards maintaining chest upwards
- Hold for 3-5 deep breaths
- If beginner level bend knees
Awakens whole body and builds total body strength, bringing 'presence' to your mind as you concentrate on holding the pose.
2. Plank Knee Curl
How to do:
- Place hands under shoulders, step legs back into full plank
- Lift 1 leg and on the exhale, draw the knee in towards chest
- Repeat 10 each leg
- Build up from 2 if beginner
Builds core strength and arm strength while toning glutes. Brings 'presence' into the movement by keeping in tune with breath.
How to do:
- Place hands under shoulders, knees just out from under hips
- Inhale, exhale press hips up flatten back
- Hold for 10-15 deep breaths
- Allow neck to relax
Grounds the body and connects to breath by the slight inversion. Rests heart and relieves stress, restores circulation and energy while stretching your back and legs.
How to do:
- Hands support head, lift chest drawing in abs
- Extend 1 leg up, 1 leg out, keeping tailbone on floor
- Inhale, switch legs, exhale, switch and continue alternating
- Keep body still, do not sway
- Repeat 10-20 times alternating legs, slow and controlled
Builds core strength and tones tummy while energising the whole body. The total strength you activate from all front muscles helps your 'mindfulness' and body awareness, while boosting heart rate and toning legs.
5. Up Stretch Lunge
How to do:
- Step 1 leg back, legs wide so front knee is over front foot
- Draw abs in, lift chest and arms straight above head linking fingers together
- Drop down low into legs as your back gently extends, opening front of body, pulling arms back
- Hold for 5-10 deep breaths on each side
- Stay controlled as you change to other leg
Opens chest and postural muscles, strengthens and tones legs. Relieves tension and stress by bringing mindfulness and awareness to the whole body.
Vanessa Bartlett is a qualified personal trainer and Pilates instructor with 14 years in the industry. After going through adrenal fatigue she had to stop all she was doing and re-evaluate where her fitness business was headed, as she felt there was a missing link. She fell into Pilates and immediately felt the benefits of mind and body healing on a higher level, so pursued its study. She has since appeared on the Channel 7 Morning Show and TVSN network as a Pilates presenter, plus received an award for Innovation in Healthcare helping mental health sufferers through Pilates meditation techniques. Vanessa writes for various health publications and has also been featured in News Local for her messages of Pilates and health. She is on a mission to educate people on healthy living for body, mind and spirit.
For more follow her at vanessabhealth.com