When I was about 12-years-old I started to become more aware of my body and how much I had neglected it. Over the following few years, I started going on jogs around my family's small, suburban neighborhood. Headphones on, I passed countless barking dogs, awkwardly pummeled through puddles and meandered through winding, dark backstreets.

When I was in middle school, fitness proved to be a short-lived phase, as health lost the battle to fried food and video games.

Later, In college, I quickly returned to vigorous Exercise to cater to my interests at the time, which included, but were not limited to, girls, girls, and girls.

The gym became an everyday routine and my body responded positively to the change (however, the ladies, unfortunately, did not).

Settling down

Fast-forward six years to Winter 2016; college was over and I've found myself settled down with a beautiful woman who cares more about morals than muscles. Adjusting to a new city, funds were sparse; and worst of all, it's about 10 degrees outside in Pittsburgh. Needless to say jogging up and down the steep hills of Pittsburgh's historic West End neighborhood in the dead chill of winter wasn't an option. Now, 25 years old, working out became less about impressing the ladies and more about controlling my anxiety that stemmed from working a full-time job, distance from my family, financial struggles, and a brand new set of common-law in-laws.

The plot twist

After spending a solid year honeymooning and putting on a few pounds, I decided that it was time to put down the beer and pick up some weights. However, there was a hole in my plot; I had no gym membership, no weights, and didn't even own a simple yoga mat.

The first step to my resolution was to purchase a yoga mat off Amazon for $7 (USD).

The following twelve exercises/poses (along with a low fat, protein-packed, plant-based diet), combine yoga and traditional fitness training to increase strength, burn fat, diminish anxiety and enhance natural energy and motivation. If you are not familiar with any of the following exercises and/or poses, I would recommend consulting your preferred search engine.

  • 1. Child's pose
  • 2 .Downward-facing dog pose
  • 3. Traditional push-up
  • 4. Tricep pushup (knees on ground)
  • 5. Bicep pushup (knees on ground)
  • 6. Legs-against-the-wall hamstring stretch
  • 7. Bridge pose
  • 8. Russian twist
  • 9. Simple abdominal crunch
  • 10. Bicycle crunch
  • 11. Traditional squat
  • 12. Calf raises (hands against the wall)

The results

I spent about 30 minutes a day on these twelve exercises, and after simply four weeks, my entire midsection was transformed. I also noticed increased muscle mass and toning in my chest and legs. Paired with steady water intake, these 12 maneuvers successfully built strength, while also stretching out the muscles I worked and improved flexibility.

Most importantly, these motions released gas that had been trapped deep within my intestines, allowing oxygen to flow freely throughout my body, from the tops of my lungs to the bottom of my toes.

In my experience, I have found there to be a close relationship between gastrointestinal health and anxiety.

In a sense, one takes care of the other. I also found that drinking protein and matcha tea after each workout enhanced muscle recovery and metabolism - building muscle and burning fat. Not only did I look better, but I also felt the best I had ever felt in my life. Also, I can finally touch my toes! If you don't have time to implement this workout into your schedule, I recommend that you make some. Your body will thank you.

Just remember, if you are not fit and or have any physical issues, it is best to consult your health professional before changing your lifestyle.