Today’s blog was written by Yinova acupuncturist and herbalist Margaret Sikowitz
What a week! Crazy weather, way too much to do and not a minute to myself. Sounds familiar, I know since pretty much everyone walking through our doors at the Yinova Center recently echoed a similar sentiment.
For me, this calls for a good sweat. Yes, exercise as a balm to soothe my cranky soul. I’m talking about what runners call a ‘high’ that accompanies a good work out. Make no mistake, I’m hardly a runner. But I make do. Like so many of us with so many plates to juggle, the trick is to find a little time 3-5 days a week rather than a long stretch of time once a week. A little regular exercise, even as little as 15 minutes a day, can help reduce our body’s cortisol levels. Since this is the hormone that is released with stress, lowering it is a very good thing.
This is all well and good but what about those 15 minutes? Where do they come from and what can I do? Here are some (very) basics:
Set yourself up for success by doing something you enjoy. If you can’t stand bike riding, that spinning class probably isn’t for you. Like a walk in the park? Great, put on your running shoes and pick up the pace.
Keep it simple. If you really only have 15 minutes a few times a week, consider easy getting off the subway a few stops ahead of your destination at the end of a day and walk briskly home. You’ll likely arrive a little sweaty and much calmer.
If you find that several days in a row have left you unable to find the time for a little movement, plan it out. E.g., “…I know tomorrow will (also) be insane, but the next day I’m going to get out for at least 20 minutes so I can ____ (run, swim, bike, you name it!).” A little is always better than nothing.
Focus. For those of us that are not preternaturally athletic, remember that a little goes a long way. You need not set out daily to run a marathon, but you owe it to yourself to move faster that your normal pace for a little longer than you’re used to. You already know how important it is for your bones, and your heart.
Now you know that it also makes you a little calmer. And that will take you far.
(Note, many of our fertility patients often ask about what type of exercise they should be doing. Our advice for you is a little different. Please note that while mild exercise is generally beneficial, we will advise you to moderate your activity to avoid that ‘rush’ that I talk about above as it alters your hormone levels. )