October 09 2020 – Cilia Fishman
Are you missing your pre-pandemic workout routine? Did you belong to a gym, yoga studio, or spinning studio? For many of us, the pandemic has disrupted our routines and forced us to explore other modes of exercise as we navigate our new “socially distanced” world. Although restrictions have eased and gyms and studios have opened, many of us still do not feel comfortable going back to our pre-pandemic ways. So, this leaves us with the question...what can we do to stay fit? Well, actually, there are lots of choices! For instance, you can take it outside and run, walk, hike, paddle board, or bike! You can opt to go virtual and take yoga, barre, mat pilates, stretching, and kickboxing online classes. Find these through your local studios or from around the world! You can also search YouTube where you will literally find thousands of courses, and many of them are free to boot!
If you haven’t already and are feeling adventurous, two exercises we believe are worth exploring are HIIT and Yoga. Why? Because they are both easy to practice at home, require minimal equipment, and have remarkable effects on your physical and emotional wellbeing.
Let’s take a look.
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, became popular a few years ago, though athletes have been using it for years. A HIIT workout is a short burst of high-intensity exercise followed by a very brief period of rest. An example might be: sprint as fast as possible for one minute, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat for 15 minutes. It has also been noted that HIIT workouts are a great way to jumpstart weight loss!
Most of us are familiar with some form of Yoga. Yoga combines breathing, meditation, movement, and static poses. Yoga is an ancient practice that improves flexibility and balance and has proven benefits in reducing stress.
NOW FOR THE BENEFITS...
💓 HIIT and Yoga are both excellent for your heart. Studies have shown that both of these programs help lower blood pressure. Participants in a study on HIIT saw a 25% drop in blood pressure during an eight-week period. Research on yoga showed that people over the age of forty who practiced regularly had improved cardiovascular functions.
😃As with most regular exercise practices, HITT and Yoga will reduce stress, fight anxiety, and help combat depression. One study shows that people who practice yoga regularly have lower cortisol levels, an indicator of stress levels. That is probably not surprising. But HIIT can have the same effect. Both HIIT and Yoga can improve mood, offer relief from stress, and improve your sleep.
⏰Plus, you don't need a lot of time to practice and see the benefits from both of these practices. Most HIIT workouts are between 10-30 minutes. And taking a 10-30 minute pause for yoga is an excellent way to break up your day. You can also combine them. Alternate HIIT and yoga workouts or use yoga poses as a cool down after your HIIT. You will gain strength, improve stability, and help put your mind at ease.
We hope you found this useful and perhaps it motivated you to try HIIT or yoga. The point is to move your body, preferably each day. Yes, the current global pandemic may have put a pause on your “regular” routine, but it can also be a time to incorporate something new in your “new normal”.