My own experience is that getting fit is a daily process. It begins with what I choose to put into my body, how much, and how often. Beer and bread seem to be my downfall. Recently I was in Sweden, and salty licorice snuck into the over indulgence habit. I was walking everywhere, and I still began to feel sluggish. I was at sea-level, coming from about a mile high, in Boulder, CO, and still I felt tired. So, I let myself sleep in. This is SOOO good for all of us. Now, while I still have stress, rest is best. This began to shift my overall, energy level back to normal, and I was able to squash that little voice in my head that says, "You are lazy if you sleep in," even when "I" have the time to, like on a vacation.
TaDA! Ok, I am a work in progress when it comes to cutting carbs, but I do like to move my body. Sure, I could start lifting again, and spending the 3 hours a day, 5 days a week my body requires to be at 150 lbs, but I am not there yet/again. My TOP 5 types of exercises are based in relaxation, but not in the way you might think.
#1 - Walking - This stems from how my own adrenal process over activates. I can jog, but I often feel it in my knees, and in my bones, later in the day or even the next day. Here in Boulder, Colorado, I am extremely lucky enough to have great hiking trails, minutes from where I live. Walking up is my favorite, down is better with poles. I do tend to hike with what ever shoes I have on, even Tevas, even sandals. No excuses is my motto.
#2 - Swimming - Oh how I love salt water pools! Floating is the best. Seriously speaking, I love swimming, and I can still swim a mile in under 45 minutes. I swam for years growing up, so distances are not so hard for me, even when I have more weight on me. It helps lube my joints, lifts my soul and I always feel lighter after an hour in the pool. Most people I know, who didn't grow up swimming, usually spend about 20 minutes in the pool, doing what ever stroke they feel comfortable and safe in water doing. Point is, we are water beings, and there is a feeling of relaxation in it, even more so while weightless in salt-water, or just floating in water. Side Note: The ultimate floating experience is in a float tank, a super salt water experience that creates the feeling of being weightless. This is wonderful for the soul, to be able to just let go, and relax.
#3 - F*Yoga (Feldenkrais) - If you have never done this form of Yoga, you are missing out. You lay on the floor and follow isolated movements, using one side of the body then mirroring it. It feels amazing. It's relaxing, and sometimes, people even fall asleep. WHICH IS GOOD! Resting and feeling being held by the ground and gravity, helps your body rest, which fights dis-ease built by stressors in your life. Ethan Cowan just started his F*Yoga class again on Monday nights at the Integral Center.
#4 - Kaiut Yoga - This one is new to me, but it releases so much built up emotion held in the joints, and creates so much space in them, that I have to include this on my list. Example: Before my first Kaiut class, I was thinking about how I wanted to start biking again, but felt this block in my legs to to just that. Then I showed up to this random yoga class that I had heard changed peoples lives, and within minutes, I knew I was in for a ride. Oh yea, Kaiut is has legs up on the wall, letting gravity do the work, and using small movements, and breath to release whatever it is you are holding in your body. Those are my words, not the instructors, my experience, not others. We did do this Leg work on my first day of Kaiut, and that was when I felt so nauseous that I felt like I was going to throw up. I went toward that felling, used my breath, and found deeper spaces inside myself, in my knees. It was sooo hard, yet sooo simple. After that, I rode my bike 20 miles the next day. Holy wow. That is cool shit. There is Kaiut Yoga at the Cultivated Healing Studio in North Boulder above Lucky's Bakery, 4 days a week.
#5 - Hot springs - Hot springs generally are just thought of as a luxury. I think they are essential to detoxing the body. Used for thousands of years by native people all over the world, hot springs tend to show up where there is volcanic activity, and mountain ranges where minerals are found. There are several free and costly places to visit out here in Colorado. How is this an exercise? It's not, but it is healthy, mineral rich and if you are social, you might even meet a friend. Usually hot springs with a fee, will also have lower temperature waters, because the heat factor for those with heart conditions is not safe, but the mineral content of the water is still very beneficial. Most hot springs are also outside, and have hiking trails not to far away. Going to a hot spring in Colorado is usually around $20 a day. Side Note: If the hot springs have an overnight option, and there are more than 2 of you, it usually pays off to stay the night. Two people for two days at $20 a day = $80... Overnight stays are about $90 a night. Totally worth it, because overnight guests can usually stay a little later and be the first to pool in the early A.M. hours.