“Summer work-out” I hear you say … “what do you mean by putting ‘good’ & ‘sweaty’ in the same sentence?” And then … “but it’s holiday time!” Certainly, it is that time of year, with festivals, holidays, food … food … more food … drinks … Oops!
So much for the healthy eating regime and nobody wants to be a party pooper. Still, it’s a good idea to keep it in perspective and balance the hot weather relaxation – expanding good will and equally expanding waistline – with something vaguely resembling appropriate regular exercise – a summer work-out. We all need something that will expand our pores – along with everything else – to let out the sweat. So here it is:
Your summer work-out
- A bit of resistance work to build strength in your long & large muscles. A series of squats & lunges should do the trick (getting into the Small Intestine & Triple Heater meridians) – warm you up and open the pores;
- Toning the upper body, particularly the lines (on the inner & outer arm) leading into the middle and little finger (Heart & Heart Protector meridians) – try push ups w/ the fingers pointing towards each other and then away from each other – this is when you start to actually sweat;
- OR, combine the above two in a series of flowing sun salutations with (lunging / squatting) standing poses punctuating your up-dog/down dog vinyasa. Start slowly for a couple of cycles then pick up some speed over maybe 6 more cycles before taking a slow cycle again. (I won’t mention the sweat);
- Early morning runs (before 9) in the sun (or a very, very brisk walk if you prefer) to raise your heart rate and have a really good sweat followed by a bit of stretching;
- Cold plunges (or showers) – especially after the sweating – so that you can feel your skin contract and fully adjust to the temperature of the water;
- Passive upper body stretches (along those same energy lines) to open out the chest and release the mid thoracic zone. Lie back and relax with a bolster crosswise beneath your spine – no need to sweat on this one.
Sweat it out & feel good
As your pores open and the perspiration starts to run remember that sweat is a gift that allows us to manage our temperature and eliminate toxins while also cleansing and exercising the skin. Who needs anti-aging concoctions when you can improve the tone, flexibility and softness of your skin by having a good sweat? You might prefer to stay dry and pant like a puppy but that’s a lot more work, not nearly so effective and simply doesn’t release feel good / feel calm endorphins in the same way. Just remember to keep yourself well-hydrated and don’t be afraid to perspire.
To find out more about why sweating is such a good idea, follow the link here.
To further develop your Summer work-out regime, have a look at Masunaga’s MakkoHo exercises for the Heart Protector & Triple Heater Fire meridians. They are not so much about sweat as about developing awareness as you open and tonify the meridian pair – excellent summer exercise nonetheless.