Health & Spirit

Back to School Isn't Just for Kids. Study Up to Loosen Up!

Marilynn Preston on

Read a book, take a class or set up in front of the Food Network or YouTube. (YouTube taught me to make a fantastic spinach pie.)

--STUDY YOGA. So what if you can't touch your knees, let alone your toes. Start where you are, and commit to three months of classes. Don't worry about your grade. Yoga is not a competitive sport. Be patient, and take the time you need to experience the profound link between body and mind, along with the healing power of your own breath.

Yoga makes you strong, flexible, calm and compassionate. It can alleviate low back pain, boost your energy and relieve muscle tension in your shoulders. But know this: It can also create injuries, so proceed with caution. Make sure your teacher is experienced and careful and helps you cultivate your own body wisdom.

--TRY SOMETHING NEW. If you're bored with your current exercise routine, spend this semester discovering new ways to be active. Running is popular, but it's not for everyone. Neither is walking or biking. Study up on alternatives until you find an activity that sparks joy. Tango dancing? Archery? Ping-Pong? I truly believe there's a sport for everyone. When you connect with yours, you'll never again be bored with exercise.

--WORK AT A STANDING DESK. In school, we sat at desks. (Some of my early ones even had inkwells.) But at least we had recess! Now we know that sitting is the new smoking. There are more than 10,000 studies about the harmful effects of too much sitting. The designs for stand-up desks have improved, and the costs have come down -- and you'll get an automatic A (for "Amazing") when you discover how much better your body feels when it's standing more and sitting less.


"Just don't take any class where you have to read Beowulf." -- Woody Allen


Marilynn Preston is the author of Energy Express, America's longest-running healthy lifestyle column. Her new book "All Is Well: The Art {and Science} of Personal Well-Being" is available now on Amazon and elsewhere. Visit Creators Publishing at to learn more. For more on personal well-being, visit

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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