It’s very unfortunate that come winter, the smog and pollution levels of India go very high. Poor air quality and chilly temperatures can make exercising outside difficult or even dangerous. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that you can maintain an active lifestyle and improve lung health indoors too. The value of preserving your fitness and lung health is important as:
Improves immunity: It is well known that regular exercise strengthens the immune system. Being active helps strengthen your body’s defences against disease, especially during the winter months when infections are more common.
Respiratory health: It is vital to exercise for lung health. It increases whole lung function, strengthens respiratory muscles, and expands lung capacity. Keeping your respiratory system robust will make it easier for you to tolerate chilly air and pollution.
Mood and mental health: Regular exercise releases endorphins, which can help combat winter blues and SAD. Staying active indoors can provide a mood boost and reduce the risk of depression.
With changing season and changing of the geomagnetic field, geomagnetic energy field, when we do things in our Dincharya right from our poojas to rituals, it nurture us. Also, one can do following things:
Aerobic exercise: Aerobic exercises like spot jogging, jumping jacks, and brisk walking. walking in figure of 8, side walking. Cycling using a stationary bike, or can also add dancing to lessen the effects of the cold. These exercises help strengthen the heart and lungs and increase lung capacity.
Indoor sports: Take into account activities like squash, racquetball, and swimming in an indoor pool. In the winter, these activities can be a great substitute for outdoor sports and are also very beneficial to lung health.
Anyway the Vedic principle of exercise is always working to sub-maximal, not taxing and demanding on the lungs and the heart. Effortless workouts, sounds very paradoxical.
Now when we say workouts in English, it actually doesn’t mean the workouts are creative and productive. It all means how to circulate, how to challenge your lungs, how to challenge your heart, how to condition them. But in the Vedic parlance, when we say yoga, it becomes how to be creative in your workouts. How to create health, healing, wholeness through your workouts. Now here I would like to bring in the name and word yoga.
Yoga merely is not a workout. Yoga is a process of alchemy, a transformation of your biochemistry, a transformation of your dynamism of your musculoskeletal structure, producing electromagnetic fields, energising your body, not necessarily only strengthening. And when this is done effortlessly, the need to breathe deep and taxing your lungs is also not there. So, chest opening asanas like Ushtrasana, Bhujangasana, Setu Bandhasana are very good.
Breath is so powerful that it can help you get rid of physiological and psychological toxins from the body and mind. A deep breath in and a deep breath out through the nose can help filter out dust and allergens and dilute our sinuses elevating our temperature especially during exercise to a great extent.
Deep breathing in one sense is good, but in the sense of hyper breathing, when we do heavy taxing exercises is ruled out. Especially in the conditions of smog and pollution, I would advise that breathing Anuloma-Viloma could be the best pranayama. And while you’re doing your exercises, you’re slow, breathe in long and deep and slow, breathe out long and deep, but not with intensity and speed, calmly in smooth rhythm and smooth flow that will empower your lungs, save your lungs and also the filter mechanism of your body will work at its best, energizing your lungs, energizing your organs, your heart, your nervous system, triggering your digestive processes, stimulating your hormones.
I would also recommend Double breathing. Double breathing oxygenates the blood and energizes the body. It draws the cosmic energy into the body through the medulla oblongata. Medulla is the point where the skull joints the spinal column. It is known as the mouth of God and it’s considered as the portal through which energy enters the body. Do it for a couple of minutes.
Method: Stand comfortably with feet apart. Begin with inhaling through the nose with a short sharp inhalation followed by a long strong inhalation. Exhale twice through the mouth with a short then long exhalation. While breathing in, stand tall with your spine erect and while exhaling squat a little.
During the winter season, we can also perform Surya Bhedi pranayama which activates the right nostril, thus increasing body heat. India has the wisdom to align with all. Remember, maintaining an active lifestyle and supporting lung health are investments in your general health.
(Mickey Mehta is a global leading holistic health guru and life coach; website: www.drmickeymehta.com)