Yoga and Pilates: indoor exercise on a budget

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A classic pre-chopping-wood-for-the-campfire warm-up Carl Barcelo via Unsplash

Tips on how to ease your mind and muscles without spending your entire student loan on memberships

We’re nearing the end of Spooktober, and the weather seems to be getting colder. The leaves are orange; they’re now dried up. The air is clean and crisp in comparison to the hot and humid air in the summer. And, finally, the wasps have gone away – finally. As the weather cools down, it can be harder to stay active because our options can be limited at times. It’s not going to seem reasonable to everyone to go for a walk in the middle of winter. It is healthy to work out a few times a week to be active, even if it is just 30 minutes. It is the best time of the year to introduce easy, low maintenance workout regimens that can be done anywhere, especially at home; all you need is a floor mat.

Yoga is one of the best ways to stay active throughout the fall and harsh winters. Yoga comes from the Sankrit root word ‘Yuj,’ which essentially means to join or unite. For some, yoga is almost therapeutic. It helps them achieve tranquility and calmness. The John Hopkins School of Medicine highlights many benefits of the practice. It states that yoga improves balance and helps enforce flexibility. There is also the emphasis that yoga can help with relieving back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a relief method for chronic lower back pain. The National Institute of Health says Yoga promotes mindfulness, better sleep quality, and stress management.

The best resource for free yoga is YouTube. “Yoga with Adrienne” is a YouTube channel that offers free instructional videos whereby the viewer can follow along. There are hundreds of videos with something for everyone. There are also challenges for those who want to accomplish their personal fitness goals. The videos are easy to follow and extremely helpful, and the instructor is calming and welcoming.

Pilates, created by Joseph Pilates, is a form of exercise that promotes strength and flexibility, mostly focusing on the core. Pilates is less spiritual and holistic, but more technical. There are many Pilates studios all across Canada. However, it is important to note that memberships can get pricey, so the best way to introduce Pilates into your workout regimen may be through digital platforms. There are thousands of resources online alongside free videos, whether you are a student, an athlete, a beginner, or a parent. Similar to yoga, Pilates offers something different for everyone looking to learn and is low maintenance; all you need is a simple mat. The best thing about Pilates is that you can do it anywhere, whether you are at home or on the go. It can be fast or long, beginner-level or challenging, all depending on where you are in your fitness journey.

As university students, it is important that we look after our health and remain as active as we possibly can, especially as the weather cools down. Health is wealth, and at the end of the day we owe it to our body to nurture and nourish it. One does not need a gym membership in order to get active – all you need is a mat and Wi-Fi.

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