18 Dec 2022
The outdoors are great for improved blood circulation, oxygenation, cellular regeneration and mental health and well-being. The invisible elements in matter are energy-givers and prime our bodies to be functional at their best, says holistic health coach, Dr Mickey Mehta
Written by Dr Mickey Mehta
Thankfully in India, the sun shines throughout the year. Even in winter, although not intense, we still do have the sun in the morning and mid-afternoon hours, just right for outdoor activities. When you go outdoors, wear your woollies, feel comfortable and experience the fresh, cool air. Of course, do not stress your body out when it is uncomfortably cold. The outdoors are great for improved blood circulation, oxygenation, cellular regeneration and mental health and well-being. The invisible elements in matter are energy-givers and prime our bodies to be functional at their best.
CHOOSE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY WITH A FUN ELEMENT
Be it walking, stretching, hiking, running, cycling, yoga, functional training and calisthenics, the outdoors raise your happy hormones. Such activities are recreational and full of health and healing. You engage with the elements, be it Nature, the greens, river, sea and hills and bring the outside inside harmoniously.
Make sure that you don’t rush into your morning wellness or fitness activity. It ought to be done in a very easy and relaxed manner and should have recreational value. Also, do not compromise on your sleep. Make sure you have early dinners and sleep early.
Outdoor fitness literally transforms the landscape of your psychological and emotional well-being.
Should you do a combination of functional training and yoga, or functional training and calisthenics, forget the routines and drills. Rather go with the flow and imagination and choose sets that give you an exhilarating feel.
Having done compound warm-ups, you can do lunge walks, side-walks with jacks, PT drills which we did in school, then get into yoga postures. Jumping jacks, burpees, spot jogging, bouncing followed by Dhanurasana, Naukasana, Ulta Naukasana, Tadasana,
Pawanmuktasana and Virabhadrasana stimulate your endocrine and digestive systems while cleansing, regulating and fortifying your organs. In short, they mostly strengthen your core and confidence.
HOW CONNECTING WITH THE ELEMENTS HELPS YOU
The sun, which is the source of light and heat, is very important for our survival. Its heat is energy-giving. Exposure to the morning sun acts as an all-round general tonic and accelerates your metabolism. Sunlight switches off the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and makes you feel awake, alive, alert and ready to take on the new day. It helps with Vitamin D absorption, which in turn, when supported by other minerals, helps in better functioning of the body.
Fresh air is also an important factor for survival. If we consume a lot of air, oxygen and ether, we get a lot of vitality, the urja, the prana. Deep breathing liberates a lot of energy in human beings. We take in air through our nose into the lungs. This atmospheric air that we breathe in has a life-giving substance – oxygen. The air comes into close contact with blood in the lungs and purifies it. Prana is the flow of energy from which all other forms of energy emerge. All functions of the body are governed by the Prana – walking, talking, thinking, respiration, pumping of the heart, excretion of waste, releasing of gastric juices and saliva. The more we activate the prana, the better will be our health. Therefore, exercising out in the open under the sun and with fresh air are very beneficial factors.
Water stimulates energy in human beings. Notice that after a long tiring day, when you take a hot shower and thereafter, you cool yourself down, you feel refreshed and your batteries are charged for some more time.
Connecting with the earth element, where we get immersed and get connected with gravity, makes us humble. Try doing Balasana or putting your forehead on the earth. Let gravity take away all the stress, all the exhaustion. To complement that, lie down and do Shavasana for 15 minutes with slow breathing. Allow the gravity to absorb all the stress from the musculoskeletal system. When the earth element is balanced, you feel stable, safe, grounded and unwavering. You are at peace with life and all its colours.
Exercising barefoot on the grass is very good for overall balance. Food nourishes the body. And when food is grown organically with the natural elements like sun, air and water, it can give us the energy and power to be well-nourished. That’s why we say food is life. Have a spoon of organic honey or half a fist of raisins, figs, a couple of dates, grapes, chikoos, bananas or custard apple – this will inspire a lot of energy, motivation and inspiration for the work ahead.
The more you mingle with the elements, the more you get energised, immunised and consequently have a longer life.