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Unlock Your Vitality: Why I believe morning exercise is important

Author:  Dr. Richard Zeng (Chinese Medicine)

Running in the morning

Harmony between Heaven and Human~天人相应

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, the morning is considered a time of Yang energy rising. TCM emphasises the concept of “Harmony between Heaven and Human,” which means that human beings are interconnected with the natural environment, and our energy and health are influenced by the changes in nature.

Yang Energy raises in the morning

In the morning, as the sun rises and illuminates the world, it symbolizes the ascending Yang energy. This natural transition is believed to affect the human body and its energy patterns. Engaging in exercises during this time can align with the rising Yang energy and help enhance the body’s vitality and energy levels for the entire day.

Set the tone of the day

TCM views the morning as a crucial period for setting the tone of the day. By actively participating in exercises, you can tap into the abundant Yang energy, invigorate your body, and promote the circulation of Qi (vital energy) and blood. This can help awaken your senses, improve mental alertness, and provide a boost of energy, allowing you to start the day with a positive and proactive mindset.

Common exercises and beyond

Walking power walking, jogging or any activities that can help you warm up. And other things can help “Raise your Yang”, including hot showers, warm food or drinks, including coffee.

It is important to note that TCM’s understanding of energy and its relationship with nature is a holistic approach. It takes into account not only physical aspects but also mental and emotional well-being. Therefore, incorporating morning exercises as part of your daily routine can contribute to balancing and harmonising your overall energy, promoting a healthier and more energised state throughout the day.

Lake run

Creative Ways to Keep Your Kids Active During Winter

The winter season often brings cold weather and shorter days, making it tempting to stay indoors and cozy up on the couch. However, it’s important to ensure that your kids stay physically active even during the winter months. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends at least 1 hour of physical activity for kids every day to promote overall health and well-being. This article provides practical and interesting ways to help your children stay active during the winter season.

Indoor Exercise:

  1. Home Play: Engage in indoor activities that get the heart rate up. Walk the dog, play indoor races, or shovel the snow together.
  2. Creative Home Exercise: Make exercise fun by incorporating games. Play “rock, paper, scissors” with leg movements, do yoga sun salutations, or have stair races.
  3. Movement Breaks: Encourage movement breaks every hour. Incorporate jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats to keep energy levels up.
  4. Dance Challenges: Turn commercial breaks into dance contests. Use video games like Dance Dance Revolution for a fun and active experience.
  5. Basement Activities: Jump rope, do hula-hooping, or set up an indoor obstacle course in the basement.

Outdoor Exercise:

  1. Winter Sports: Take advantage of winter sports like sledding, skiing, and ice skating. Make them more exciting by trying variations like inner tube sledding or skating on natural frozen surfaces.
  2. Nature Exploration: Go for walks to watch the Northern Lights or explore nearby trails. Walk to places instead of driving to incorporate exercise into daily routines.
  3. Active Chores: Involve kids in outdoor chores like shoveling snow, raking leaves, or gardening.

Kids’ Exercise Programs:

  1. Traditional Classes: Enroll your children in traditional options such as sports leagues, gymnastics, dance classes, or YMCA programs.
  2. Variety of Options: Explore new opportunities like yoga, Zumba, wall climbing, in-line skating, skateboarding, and boot camps.
  3. Endurance Training: Consider programs that train kids for marathons, triathlons, and other endurance events.
  4. Parkour Gyms: Look for parkour gyms where kids can engage in obstacle-based training that blends running and acrobatics.

Keeping kids active during the winter is essential for their physical and mental well-being. Whether through indoor exercises, outdoor adventures, or structured programs, there are numerous ways to ensure that your children remain active and engaged during the colder months. By prioritising physical activity, you are helping them develop healthy habits that will benefit them in the long run. If you’re feeling lethargic or need support in staying motivated, consider seeking professional guidance to ensure you and your family stay active throughout the winter season.

2010 Spring News Letter

The season of change is finally here and heaven knows no one appreciates like Melbournians, I think it’s actually the reason we stay so cheery during the winter now, there a couple of things that we get as a bonus to the feeling of sun on our face and If I warn you about it now, maybe you can enjoy the change!

With the sun we also get…

Wind, not so affectionately referred to in Chinese Medicine as the “bearer of a hundred diseases…” demands particular respect in early spring because our protective energy, like the rest of us, is usually a little weak after winter. So,

• leave your winter clothes on until well past the start of the warmer weather because the sun is out well before our environment is warm,

• carry a scarf or wear a collar so you can cover your neck on windy days, it’s the area most susceptible to “wind invasion”,

• if you have a history of health problems in Spring it is much easier for us to treat them before the symptoms come,

And yes, I’m talking about hay fever, and asthma, and eczema or any other skin problems because it’s the skin and the Lungs that often show the first signs of an “external wind invasion”.

“Stirring internal wind” is another risk of windy weather; ask the school teachers what happens to the children on windy days! Now adults are also affected, so symptoms related to the Liver function in Chinese Medicine may arise for example, insomnia, trembling hands, vertigo, migraines, some arthritic conditions and mood swings to name a few.

We can give you herbal medicine; there are many pre-made formulas at the clinic to relieve pain from the sinus to the knees! And for you really tough cases out there, and this hay fever season is going to provide us with many, we can make you a custom formula specific to your individual requirements to give you the best possible chance of enjoying the weather?

Some more about Hay fever; it’s a hypersensitivity reaction of our immune system to air-borne substances like pollen, dust, moulds, plants and chemicals. It is medically known as allergic rhinitis and consists primarily of runny nose, and blocked at the same time (about annoying a symptom as possible), sneezing and itchy red eyes.

Many of these allergens may also be triggers for asthmatics and these symptoms can quickly develop into an infection of the respiratory tract.

Allergies can run in families so if you suffer your children may also. The above air-borne substances are allergens that can cause the body to produce antibodies that release histamine. Histamines can cause the allergic reaction.

Avoiding allergens can keep the symptoms at bay. (But who wants to stay inside when the sun is finally here?) Conventional therapies call for antihistamines, decongestants, oral steroids, corticosteroid sprays & bronchodilator inhaler (for asthma), and allergy injections. But using Chinese medicine may be all you need to relieve the symptoms and if you start treatment in the off season, can treat the underlying imbalances that cause the allergies in the first place!

So use preventative medicine in spring and get in before the symptoms come!