Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA): Physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day at a moderate-to-vigorous intensity in a manner that supports your body's functional capacity and health. The important delineation is HEPA does not overexert or risk physical harm. Examples include power walking, nordic pole walking, a nature walk, hiking, running, climbing, yoga, swimming, cycling, tennis, landscaping, dancing, weight lifting, cardiovascular exercise, etc.
A physically active lifestyle supports preventative health measures and offer a range of health benefits such as bone health, muscle health, heart and lung health, and lowering blood sugar levels. There are also lesser known benefits to physical exercise, ranging from improving mood, supporting cognitive health, sleep quality, and decreasing inflammatory markers in the body.
Every move counts! Physical activity & physical exercise (structured & intentional) supports physical health and cognition. Aim to increase your heart rate to experience these benefits.
Stress Management: Practicing relaxation techniques from various mind-body modalities (ancient yogic teachings, breathwork, meditation, & mindfulness-practice) to instill balance and manage negative thoughts in order to build resiliency, gratitude, and compassion for improved well-being.
We must make it a priority to slow down and allow our minds to rest and recharge to support mental health. Tools such as asana practice, breathing exercises, mindfulness-based practice, meditation, forest bathing, and forest walks are all wonderful for rejuvenation and emotion regulation.
Forest Bathing [Shinrin-Yoku]: Immersing our five senses in the wonder of nature while acknowledging its importance to our health. Slowing down in natural environments can reduce cognitive load, induce mental restoration, reduce blood pressure, and increase feelings of vigor.
Forest medicine research has shown that trees emit beneficial phytoncides into the air and when inhaled, it increases natural killer (NK) cell activity which supports immune system functioning and reduces stress hormone levels.