3 Ways to Connect My Mind & Body at Home

This post is sponsored by lululemon and ShopStyle

If you had told me a few years ago that working out was as much mental as it is physical, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But going on day 6 of social distancing has been…interesting. haha

I’ve written about my fitness journey here before and even being cooped up in the house can’t keep me from working out. The benefits alone are enough to motivate me to come up with a routine at home but I’ve found a lot of solace and clarity during my at-home workouts.

TANKTOP | SHORTS

But getting in a workout at home can be tough – no time, no space, and so many distractions. So I partnered with lululemon how I’m making sure my body, mind, and spirit get a good sweaty workout at home!

Creating A Space to Connect

  1. First and foremost, find a clear space in your home. What I love most about these exercises is that they don’t require a ton of space. They can be done next to your bed or in front of a TV.
  2. Second, turn on some music. For me, this time is about challenging my body and mind, and connecting with both while disconnecting from the rest of the world.
  3. Put on comfortable clothing – clothing that allows you to move. Don’t step away from your daily tasks and try to do this in your jeans. This is about getting you in the right mindset and part of that is the uniform! Treat it like a gym session and treat it seriously.

Like I said, working out is as much mental as it is physical, so getting in the right headspace by creating a conducive environment for your body and mind to connect.

1) Planking & Other Core Stability Exercises

As a die-hard fan of high-intensity workouts, it’s hard to convince me to get sweaty any other way!

TANKTOP | BRA | SHORTS | MAT

But try any isolated movement that engages your core and I guarantee that you’ll be dripping sweat by the end. I love these types of movements and workouts because they engage the core and strengthen the back.

How To Plank

  1. Begin on the floor, with your weight on your elbows directly under your shoulders.
  2. Extend your legs behind you, pressing into your heels.
  3. Keep your core tight, pulling in your abs, while making sure your body stays in a straight line from head to heel.

SHOP MY WORKOUT FAVORITES

• • •

There are a ton of variations of the plank as well as additional core stability exercises that can easily be found online.

2) Yoga

If you’ve ever been to a boot camp workout or tried a challenging HIIT circuit on your own, you know just how sweaty you can get when you challenge your body with these fast-paced exercises. But many people forget that a simple, and even slow yoga flow can make you perspire like crazy! It’s the slow, controlled movements in yoga that challenge the endurance and strength of your muscles.

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And it’s even better when you have a workout buddy! Goldie would not leave my side during this entire workout! At first, Dash and Jett were doing yoga with me and what was really incredible, is that even though it challenged them, they were more calm and happy afterward. I believe that’s a direct effect of working out. I hope my kids really value the blessing of their body and the movement it makes possible.

 

Practiced regularly, yoga can be a powerful way to relieve anxiety and cope with everyday stress. Over time, it also can transform your body, building stronger muscles while it improves flexibility and joint mobility.

3) The Sweat Stretch

A common myth passed around is that you should stretch before you workout. The truth is, you should jog lightly in place for 3-5 minutes before you engage in any serious stretching. You want warm muscles when you start to stretch. I love to run after my kids or take the dogs on a fast-paced walk just to warm up my body and get it loose. Then I’ll spend 20-30 minutes stretching.

TANKTOP | SPORTS BRA | LEGGINGS

And if you’re doubting the benefits of a good stretch, think again! Just a few minutes of stretching increases blood flow through your entire body—including your brain, which means you’ll be more alert, less sluggish (perfect for midday), and you’ll have a better range of motion and mobility!

Here are my 5 favorites:

1) Thigh Stretch

  1. Sit up straight on the ground with knees bent and soles of your feet touching one another.
  2. Grasp your feet with your hands.
  3. Gently push down on your knees with your elbows to deepen the stretch.

2) Hip Stretch

  1. Lie on your back and bend both knees with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring your left knee closer to your chest and bend it at 90 degrees so your calf crosses over your body.
  3. Bring your right knee towards your chest, making contact with the ankle or shin of your left leg.
  4. Wrap your hands around your right leg and pull it closer to your body, deepening the stretch.

3) Knee to Chest Stretch

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. This is called the supine position.
  2. Gently raise one bent knee up enough so you can grasp your lower leg with both hands. Interlace your fingers just under the knee.
  3. If you’re doing the two-legged version, bring one leg up and then the other. Because taking both up at the same time takes a lot of abdominal strength, starting with one and then quickly following with the other is likely safer, especially for vulnerable backs.
  4. As with the single-legged version, if you are taking both up at the same time, interlace your fingers or clasp your wrists between the lower legs, just below the knees.
  5. Gently pull your bent knee or knees toward your trunk, using your hands.
  6. While you’re pulling, try to relax your legs, pelvis and low back as much as you can. The knees-to-chest better reaches low back muscles when used passively.
  7. Hold for a few seconds.
  8. Return your leg to the floor.
  9. Repeat on the other side.

4) Upper Back Stretch

  1. Stand up straight or sit on a surface so that your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Place one hand on top of the other with arms straight in front of you.
  3. Press your arms away from your body.

5) Chest and Shoulder Stretch

  1. Stand up straight or sit on a surface so that your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Clasp your hands together behind your back so that your arms are extended behind you.
  3. Lift your hands to the ceiling to stretch your chest and shoulders.

SHOP MY FAVORITE WORKOUT GEAR

• • •

And if you’re not super keen on drenching yourself in your own bodily fluids, perhaps you should remember that sweating during a workout is actually a good thing. When you’re working hard and pushing your body, it can get overheated from the challenge. Sweat is just your body’s way of responding to that challenge by keeping your core temperature at a safe and steady level.

But a great way to fix that is to have a wardrobe that properly supports your activities, and I’m loving lululemon’s new fast-drying Everlux™ fabric exactly for this reason! It’s:

  1. Fastest-drying fabric, designed with sweat in mind
  2. Highly breathable
  3. It feels cool and sleek on the inside and soft on the outside drying ultra-fast to make you feel your best in the sweatiest of moments
  4. Sweat-wicking
  5. Four-way stretch
  6. Supportive

I’ve owned a lot of lululemon over the years and I gotta say, this is hands-down the best they’ve come out with! You can shop all my favorites above!

And once you’ve got your wardrobe taken care of, do yourself a favor and take some time to reconnect your mind and body by trying some of the activities I mentioned above. Consider it your own personal way to practice social distancing and keeping your sanity! And take a minute and share the ways you disconnect from the craziness and connect your mind and body.

Xx Tara

 

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