Ever wish you could do something whole-body beneficial without having to exert yourself? It’s true, nothing benefits us quite like a good sweat. It gets lymph moving, boosts circulation, releases endorphins, and tones our muscles. However, there are some things we can do to get our blood and lymph moving, oxygenate the body, and release endorphins without having to strap into our double-duty sports bra.
The body reacts to stimuli and restoration by burning calories—it’s as simple as that. Nothing but exercise is going to properly tone our muscles, but we can still achieve a great metabolic rate, get plenty of oxygen to the brain, boost our brain’s feel-good chemicals, and stay on track to weight loss by incorporating these other wellness practices!
Getting in a hot soak does more for us than deep relaxation. Studies show that a hot bath, deemed “passive heating,” actually has similar benefits to exercise. This study indicates that cardio-metabolic rate was increased, calories were burned, and endorphins were positively juiced from a nice, hot bath. The heat also increases circulation, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body, and even boosts metabolic waste elimination.
These same passive heating benefits are reaped in the dry sauna, but this practice also helps to shed excess water weight due to retention, which might be helpful during PMS or after indulging in too many salty foods. The specific heat from the sauna can also burn some major calories. Science says that body mass is significantly reduced from 60 minutes in the sauna, and that there are incredible cardiovascular benefits to regular usage.
Give your lymph system a serious boost with a cold rinse after hitting the shower, bath, or sauna, or just midday to feel your energy levels soar. It also helps to reduce inflammation in the body, soothe sore or overworked muscles, strengthen the immune system, release endorphins, and reduce body mass, or “brown fat”— “It has been suggested that activation of brown fat, via either environmental (i.e. cold exposure), could be used to increase metabolic rate and thus reduce body weight.” A full cold shower is great, but 60-90 seconds will do.
According to Frontiers in Psychology, diaphragmatic breathing exercises can significantly reduce blood pressure, increase heart rate variability, oxygenate the body, and improve pulmonary function, as well as cardiorespiratory fitness and respiratory muscle strength. That’s a reduction in stress, which is great for nearly every bodily function, as well as strengthening our nervous response and respiration. It’s the non-exercise exercise we can do from anywhere, anytime.
That’s right, handy-dandy masturbation (or with your favorite buzzy toy) is a great way to give yourself a healthy glow. That’s because orgasm releases a jolt of endorphins, which speed metabolism and give you a boost of energy. It’s also great for better circulation to the extremities, and it’s majorly stress-relieving. Studies continue to show that sexual activity is beneficial for both our mental and cardiovascular health. So no partner? No problem. Solo time is just as great.
We talk a lot about the lymphatic system here at Poosh, but that’s because we have to be aware of it! It requires manual pumping through hydration, exercise, herbal supplementation, and massage—it does not circulate on its own. Stimulating the lymphatic system has the ability to increase circulation, remove biochemical wastes from the blood and body tissues, reduce bloat and fatigue, enhance body fluid dynamics, reduce the risk of edema, decrease sympathetic nervous system responses, and increase parasympathetic nervous tone, which results in a major reduction in overall body stress. These benefits mean reduced inflammation, improved metabolism, and better sleep.
Speaking of great sleep, do it! Getting seven to nine hours of totally restorative rest doesn’t equate to being lazy. In fact, it helps preserve all of that amazing work we put in when we do exercise hard. We need that quality REM to heal and detox the brain, the body, and all of our cells for optimal mitochondrial health. When we get in the habit of getting quality rest, we actually lose weight! Deep sleep burns calories and keeps our metabolism healthy. Also, when we are well rested, we are also in a better mood, more willing to exercise, and less likely to crave sweets and salty snacks.
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