Physical activity is necessary for both our physical and mental health. Taking care of your body affects your overall well-being and it is important for reducing the risk of burn-out.1 Regular exercise leads to improved overall well-being and quality of life, it can increase your energy and mood, improve concentration, sleep and decrease stress and depression symptoms.2
Tips and recommendation
- Get your body moving this week!
- Pick three days that you will spend getting your body moving with at least 30 minutes of exercise.
- Set aside a location and time (or you can write it in your calendar). This isn’t supposed to be a marathon-level of activity, it’s just about get your body moving a bit more than usual.
- Try to find an activity that you do or you’d like to try, it can be for instance, running, dancing, doing yoga, exercising, swimming or just walking. The most important is to create a routine that works for you and be sure to take a moment to notice how much better you feel after getting some exercise in.
Yoga is originally based on ancient Indian philosophy. Today it is very popular amongst the population of the whole world. Many types of yoga exist today, for example Vinyasa, Hatha or Iyengar.1 In yoga, physical exercises are combined with diaphragmatic breathing which is typical for relaxation and has a calming effect. You can use diaphragming breathing to calm down even during your daily activities.2
Practicing yoga improves mental health and well-being thanks to not only physical activity but also relaxation, awareness, regulation of breath and spirituality.3 Yoga has a lot of psychophysiological benefits. Yoga can improve sleep, general health, energy level, happiness and interpersonal relationships.4 Stress can be moderated and reduced effectively by yoga practice.5/6
Yoga has also both immediate and long-term effects on anxiety reduction.7 Additionally, yoga interventions are effective in reducing and preventing symptoms related to mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety and PTSD.8/9
Tips and recommendation
Before you start practicing yoga it is nice to know that the physical postures and exercises are called asanas and the breathing technique is called pranayama. When starting with yoga practice, try out different styles of yoga with various yoga teachers. That way you will find out which yoga style suits you the best. It is very important to find a good fit, which can vary from person to person.
- Schools of yoga: Vinyasa, Hatha, Power etc.
- Types of yoga: Hot yoga, Flow yoga, Gentle yoga etc.
You may combine the different types or practice only one style and once in a while try a new one. It is up to you. For beginners it is better to attend lectured classes. It will motivate you, you will learn to breathe the right way and the teacher can correct you in positions. Once you have chosen the school and type of yoga which you enjoy, it can be helpful to sign up for a specific yoga class in your city that you will attend regularly. If you are an advanced yogi or due to the pandemic you cannot attend classes, try practicing yoga at home.
- Firstly, change into comfortable sports clothes and get yourself a yoga mat, or if you don’t have one at least a rug or something so that you don’t lie straight on the floor. Secondly, find yourself a calm space.
- Devote some time only to yourself.
- Don’t let anyone or anything distract you. You can even play relaxing music.
If you’re experienced you can practice yoga at your own pace. If you’d like guidance, there are thousands of free yoga videos online nowadays. You can also support your regular yoga teachers if they’re doing classes online, or you can learn the classic sun salutation. Dedicate yourself at least 15 undisrupted minutes.