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Embark on a Global Fitness Journey: 5 Self-Care Workouts from Around the World

Life can often be overwhelming, leaving us feeling drained and disconnected from ourselves. While there are various methods to promote mental wellbeing, incorporating physical exercise into your self-care routine can be incredibly beneficial. Exercise not only boosts your physical health but also has a profound impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing.


In this article, we will explore five invigorating self-care workouts inspired by different cultures and traditions that can help improve your mental health.

So, lace up your sneakers, and let's dive into these transformative exercises from around the world.


1. Forest Bathing from Japan


Imagine yourself strolling through a serene forest, surrounded by towering trees and the soothing sounds of nature. In Japan, Shinrin-Yoku, also known as forest bathing, encourages you to immerse yourself in nature, allowing its healing powers to wash over you.


Slow down, breathe deeply, and let the sights, sounds, and scents of the forest rejuvenate your senses. Spending time in nature has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and boost mood [1]. Forest bathing helps clear the mind, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of serenity and tranquillity.


2. Yoga from India


Next, let us journey to India, the birthplace of yoga and meditation. Find yourself in a tranquil ashram or a quiet corner of your own home. As you settle into a comfortable position, allow your breath to guide you through a series of gentle stretches and poses. With each movement, invite a sense of harmony between your body, mind, and spirit. Feel the stress melt away as you enter a state of deep relaxation.


Yoga has gained immense popularity worldwide due to its numerous mental health benefits. Studies have shown that it promotes mindfulness, reduces stress and anxiety, improves focus, and enhances self-awareness [1]. Regular practice can create a sense of inner calm and balance, fostering a positive outlook on life.


3. Capoeira from Brazil


Transport yourself to the vibrant energy of Brazil, where the rhythmic beats of Capoeira, a unique martial art, fill the air. Immerse yourself in this fusion of dance, acrobatics, and music, as you engage in fluid movements and kicks.


Capoeira not only strengthens your body but also cultivates agility, balance, and self-expression. Feel the pulse of the music guiding your every step and embrace the camaraderie of the Capoeira circle. This spirited workout will not only challenge your physical limits but also ignite your passion and leave you feeling empowered.


4. Tai Chi from China


Let's now find tranquillity in the ancient practice of Tai Chi in the serene landscapes of China. Picture yourself in a picturesque garden or a peaceful park, surrounded by lush greenery. Slow, deliberate movements guide your body as you flow through the graceful sequences of Tai Chi.


Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art that combines slow, flowing movements with deep breathing and meditation. Often referred to as "moving meditation," Tai Chi helps calm the mind. Regular practice can enhance your emotional stability, boost self-confidence, and alleviate symptoms of depression. The beauty of Tai Chi is that almost anyone can do it! The gentle form of exercise is easy on the joints and helps with strength building without having to lift weights.


5. Hula Dance from Hawaii


Our final destination takes us to Hawaii, where the Hula Dance awaits. Envision yourself on the warm shores of Hawaii, where the rhythmic sway of palm trees accompanies the graceful movements of the hula dance.

Hula is not only a captivating dance form but also a profound practice that promotes mental well-being and spiritual connection. Through the gentle swaying of hips, hand gestures and footwork, hula provides an outlet for emotional release and self-expression. This process can be incredibly therapeutic, reducing stress and promoting a sense of emotional balance.


Conclusion

Self-care workouts from around the world offer unique approaches to nurturing your mental health. The five exercises from different corners of the world discussed above offer unique ways to improve mental wellbeing.


Whether it's the mindfulness of yoga, the meditative moments of Tai Chi, the serenity of forest bathing, or the self-expression of Capoeira and Hula Dance, each exercise provides a powerful tool for reducing stress, enhancing emotional balance, and cultivating a positive mindset. Experiment with these self-care exercises and let the world become your playground for better mental health!


About the Writer

Jeannette Qhek is the Wellbeing Lead at Actxa Wellness, where she curates the wellness curriculum with relevant science-backed content. Extremely passionate about the psychology behind human behaviour, she is now pursuing her Master's in Counselling with Monash University. Her other passion is content creation, and she is part of Tiktok's team of Youth for Good Wellness Education. As part of this exciting journey, she created "Chill By Nette", an online wellness space to share her resources and learnings. Through sharing her voice and creativity, she hopes to make psychological concepts and wellness research knowledge more accessible and fun to the public.

Connect more with Jeannette Qhek here ➡️ https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeannetteqhek/


References


[1] Woodyard C. Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. Int J Yoga. 2011 Jul;4(2):49-54. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.85485. PMID: 22022122; PMCID: PMC3193654.


[2] Park, B.J., Tsunetsugu, Y., Kasetani, T. et al. The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environ Health Prev Med 15, 18–26 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12199-009-0086-9

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