Usually when people think of working out, the thoughts of running a marathon of lifting hefty weights in the gym come to mind. There is a myriad of types of exercise, and I am going to tell you about a few of them.
What Is Pilates?
Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Pilates is the method of controlled movements; it builds strength, incorporates flexibility, has an emphasis on controlled breathing, and overall works out the abdominals (called the powerhouse). There are different levels of pilates depending on physical ability.
Peace of Mind With Pilates
Many people do not realize pilates does not only exercise the body; it relaxes your mind, too. Pilates incorporates rhythmic breathing, exhaling out as you flex your powerhouse. Pilates is similar to yoga, because of its ability to heighten a person’s cognitive functioning.
Isometric Holds Pilates Style
Pilates incorporates isometric holds. An isometric hold is an exercise that involves the contraction of a muscle without any seen movement in the body. Pilates uses these isometric holds, which are also known as static strength training. These isometric exercises do not move muscles through a full range; they use only one position. A specific type of isometric exercise is the plank, an abdominal bridge, whereby the participant holds a push-up position for a certain length of time.
High-Intensity Interval Training
High-Intensity Interval Training describes a cardio session arranged as short bursts of extremely hard work, followed by a longer period of less intense exercise. Rinse, rather, and repeat this series of exercise, kind of like the process of showering (or bathing). The bursts of high energy exercise should be 30-45 seconds, and the lower exertion time that follows immediately after it should be 90 seconds in duration. High-Intensity Interval Training can be done by walking, jogging, or even swimming. It is one of the best methods to set one’s body into fat-burning mode.
A fun way to exercise is to go rollerblading or skating. I advise you to purchase skates or rollerblades with brakes (so that you don’t fly into a tree!). The main muscle groups used are the glutes, hamstrings, quads and other thigh muscles. Most people are surprised that rollerblading (or skating) burns 840 calories per hour (if done at more than 20 miles per hour); this is just as effective as running AND less of an impact on a person’s joints as well. Rollerblading also increases a person’s overall range of motion. The greatest advantage of rollerblading is muscular endurance and development. Rollerblading helps in using and controlling insulin levels in a person’s body, combatting diabetes. Gliding around also strengthens your heart and bones and relieves stress by lowering blood glucose levels. Rollerblading is also good at releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to increase mood and make one happy. “Gliding away your troubles” certainly does work.
Kayaking is an activity where a person is in a boat and needs to propel themselves with a single-bladed paddle. Kayaking offers cardiovascular fitness. It also increases muscle strength in the arms, back, chest and shoulders, just by moving the paddle itself. In addition, kayaking brings torso and length strength, as rotating the torso to propel the kayak is necessary. The best benefit is the fact kayaking is a low-impact exercise, like rollerblading; this reduces the risk of wear-and-tear on the joints. To kayak, I would make sure you can first swim a little in case you tip the kayak, as first-timers commonly do.
The INSANITY workout by Beachbody offers a myriad of benefits. Burning up to 1,000 calories per hour, INSANITY offers aerobics that is intense. It comprises of a 60-day program and conditions your muscles. INSANITY is another HIIT workout, and there are variations of programs in INSANITY tailored to your needs. Shaun T, the creator of INSANITY, helps you stay motivated with comical remarks. “I’m so tired I don’t know the name of my moves” he states during the workout. With a smile on my face, I continued on with the program as Shaun T declared, “Stay with me now cuz this is bananas!” Another quote of Shaun T helped motivate me: “30-second water break… drink your water... you only get 30 seconds people; this isn’t a coffee break!” I recommend the INSANITY program if you are in decent shape and have the approval from a physician.
Brazil Butt Lift
There is another exciting Beachbody workout that tones lengthens and strengthens your muscles. Brazil Butt Lift is a 60-day home-based fitness program. Brazil Butt Lift workouts are led by Leandro Carvalho, a personal trainer to Victoria’s Secret Angels and other famous models. His exercises combine elements of ballet, capoeira, and Afro-Brazilian dance. You can expect to lift your gluteus maximus by an inch while visibly toning your whole body. The Base Kit of three DVDs is shipped with a resistance band, meal recommendations, and other extras, costing approximately $50.00. You even get a free measuring tape to track your results. I have done Brazil Butt Lift three times and received amazing results, personally.
Running and Walking
Both walking and running have wonderful cardiovascular effects on the body. Running can burn up to 900 calories per hour. Walking and running are known to alleviate depression as well. Running strengthens your knees and other joints, too. Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, and a host of other unpleasant conditions. You also can get “runner’s high,” which is the release of endocannabinoids; these are closely related to the dopamine neurotransmitters, and they make you feel good naturally. Ever hear someone call running their “drug”? Well, apparently, it actually is quite similar. In a 2015 study in Neuropharmacology, it showed that running causes the same kind of neurochemical adaptations in brain reward pathways as some addictive drugs.
Working Out During Work
You can exercise even in the places you would think are bizarre; you can work out during work. What I do is calf raises as I water the hanging pots while working in the greenhouse. This way, I can have a proper count as to how much water each type of flower requires. I also do some butt raises and count to 20. With the music playing, I often dance as I want the plants, and customers like the positive energy I give out. I will ask them, “Can I help you find something?” and they positively respond. If you have an office job, you can do “butt squeezes” (isometric holds), leg raises and calf raises. Do not as a sedentary job holds you back. Remember, the key is to be creative. Do not underestimate the power of a “short work out;” even 10-15 minutes of walking twice a day has amazing health benefits.