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Maybe you are reading this as a member of The JL Collective or maybe a general interest in health & wellbeing has brought you to this small corner of the internet that I occupy… regardless, welcome! 

As our community grows I’ve had more messages about how much you should be practicing. And with regard to exercise over all are you doing too much or are you not doing enough… 🙋‍♂️🙋‍♀️

I thought I would share what I have found works best, mixed with my understanding of what a healthy body needs to stay strong and injury free. I am going to do this by answering a few of the questions I hear most often.

Is yoga enough?

On its own, I personally don’t think so no. But add in pilates and you are getting closer to a more ideal well rounded ‘exercise plan’ (if that’s what you are looking for).

Yoga is great, its amazing and I frequently go as far as to say it has completely changed my life. However it is quite bias in some ways. There is a lot of anterior strengthening and posterior stretching – it is important for injury prevention, good posture and our overall health that we strengthen posteriorly. Paying particular focus to our shoulders, back and hips. 

So yes whilst I think its great and in some way I myself practice each and every day, I would advise you to do exercises that add some resistance and strength to the parts of your body that yoga neglects. Hence why there are always some tough love strength exercises hidden in our classes 💪

I’ve been through stages where I have overtrained in a gym setting, and for me my body feels the healthiest when I actually only go near heavy weights / more resistance once or twice a week. Play with it – see what works for you. But don’t over do it 🙏

For a healthy body and mind I also believe some of our exercise should be done outside. In an ideal world you can do both most days but work / family commitments may mean that it has to be one or the other. If that’s the case maybe skip yoga one or two days and take a lovely long walk (preferably in nature). 

How much should I practice each week? 

Our class schedule is designed because that’s the kind of routine I think helps you build strength, maintain mobility and keep aches / pains at bay. A couple of yoga classes and a couple of pilates classes. There will be weeks when life gets in the way and you can only practice once or twice… and there may be weeks your somewhere beautiful and sunny with me and we are practicing every day (shameless retreat plug there.. 😂). 

If you are new that may seem overwhelming and I certainly remember how much my shoulders and wrists gave me grief at the start. It is a lot of upper body strength and it takes a while to build. So start steady, that doesn’t mean you can’t practice 3 or 4 times a week from the get go, but it just means you may well need to rest a little more than the person practicing next to you. 

Running, should I start? And regardless of whether I am new or not how much should I be out there?

Should you start.. Running is pretty high impact, I love it and the benefits are fantastic how ever it is taxing. If you don’t think your body wants to be out there running around just lace up your trainers and power walk – at pace! This is super beneficial. You get your heart rate going, your out in the fresh air and your not picking up the injuries that come with pounding the same pavement just a bit faster. 

If you already run.. Rather than ask how much you should be running look at your mileage last week or last month. Then reflect on how your body feels. If you feel fresh and good to-go then add another run next week or maybe push the distance. If your feeling quite tired and maybe a little niggly then drop a run or two or simply try slowing down your pace. Do try mixing it up so half of your runs a little longer and slower, half of your runs shorter and quicker. That way your body isn’t just plodding along doing the same thing over and over – it is actually getting better at running. 

GET GOOD TRAINERS – wether your power walking or running. Caps totally needed here because honestly that’s super important. Oh and STRETCH but you all know that.. 🧘‍♀️

The most important message of all is that you should enjoy your chosen exercise. It shouldn’t be a chore. It should make you feel good. You should be eating a diet that gives you the ENERGY to stay active and a diet that help you recover. 

Thanks for reading this far✌️I am right here if you have read this and want to chat more or ask me any questions, Jess.

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