Simple Ways to Add Meditation & Exercise to Your Daily Routine : Michelle's Blog
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Simple Ways to Add Meditation & Exercise to Your Daily Routine

by Michelle Dorshkind on 03/27/16

These suggestions are quick and gentle ways to add meditation and easy exercise into your daily life without adding pressure and stress to your daily responsibilities. If you are already practicing a hard core workout regimen, Tai Chi, Yoga, meditation ...then kudos to you!  Take time to pat yourself on the back and acknowledge your discipline to better health. 

These tips are for anyone who resist discipline, schedules, routine, exercise etc. but wants to feel better and somehow begin somewhere. This is why I say "be gentle with yourself" - a little bit a day is better than none. We all have many pockets in our day to practice or incorporate these simple mindful tips:

1) Next time you are watching TV, lie on the floor and start stretching your legs and back...maybe add some sit-ups or place a tennis ball in those tight spots.

2) If you ride BART, need to wait for a doctor's appointment or a friend for coffee... instead of checking your phone for emails, FB post or playing games... take 2 minutes to close your eyes and do a body check. Take three deep breaths, filling in your lungs and belly then slowly exhaling. Each time you breath in oxygen,  you are expanding your rib cage, stretching the muscles, calming the central nervous system and helping your body digest food efficiently.

3) If you work on a computer all day, set your phone alarm clock every hour to remind yourself to stretch your neck and shoulders, take three deep breaths and drink a tall glass of lemon water. This will refresh your mind and prevent brain fog.

4) Do calf lifts when you brush your teeth or standing in the check out line in a store. This will help prevent ankle swelling, loosen up clunky  joints and strengthen your  feet & calf muscles.

5) When you are waiting for an appointment, kids, activities, doing computer work or reading a book... massage your jaw and neck muscles. Make funny faces (it will make someone smile) and squeeze your neck muscles. Add some essential oils to open your senses or tiger balm to sooth aching tight muscles. 

6) Play frisbee, catch, hoops, walk, bike, hike, swim, or even show your kids how to lift weights, jump rope, or do yoga. This is a great way to spend time with your family while teaching them how to take good care of their health too. 

7)   I love having my first cup of coffee out on my patio in the morning. I do a quick meditation to visualize my day or connect with my Higher Spirit.

8)  "Contract & Release" - this is a mindful exercise that  helps connect your mind with your body. Too often we may walk around unconsciously with a muscle in constant contraction. Eventually this muscle can fatigue or cause other muscles to kick in and do more work causing body pain. This technique helps retrain your body and mind to identify when a muscle is contracting or is relaxed. 

Start by lying in a comfortable place then focus on contracting every muscle in your head (eyes, jaw, neck) then relax. Next, focus on contracting your chest and shoulder muscles...then relax. Continue this same "contract and relax" technique going done your arms and then hands. Really focus on the muscle in that location contracting then releasing. Next tighten your stomach and lower back muscles then release.  Work your way down to your gluts  & internal pelvis muscles (contract then release). Continue with your thighs, calves and last your feet.  As a grand finale - contract your entire body all at once ...then release! 

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