By the time Week 8 rolls around, many of my clients already feel a sense of achievement. At this point my hope is that I have guided you to more mindfulness — whether it is just moving your body, replenishing water and nutrition or giving yourself permission to breathe and recover when you need it. What an act of love and respect to actually set aside time and put effort into healing, nurturing and creating the best you!
You’ve likely heard that interval training is effective for your body in many ways. The increases and decreases in heart rate make the body work harder and burn more calories per minute, and the increased energy output requires more fuel, which revs up your metabolism. In this phase you will also work on your explosive muscle strength, which the body needs but doesn’t get much of during steady-state exercises such as swimming, walking and regular strength training.
I have found that in times of stress, physical exertion is one of the most effective and important steps to take — and it can actually help us through hard times!
Numerous studies have confirmed the fact that the right amount of exercise relieves stress and boosts the immune system. It releases feel-good hormones — such as endorphins and adrenaline — and reduces levels of stress hormones.
Yet our natural reaction to stress is usually to take things out of our day that seem superfluous and time-consuming. Often that includes the time we spend on our own health. We sacrifice that time — and ourselves — to other more “important” causes at hand, even when the cause of our stress is something we don’t have control over anyway.
I’d like to point out three other important benefits of exercise that are less often highlighted — but equally great reasons to find time every day to just move.
By The FIRM Master Instructor Alison Davis-McLain
Bootcamp-style workouts not only bring on the sweat — they can also turn up the fear factor! You might think bootcamp workouts are only for advanced exercisers. But even novices can do a bootcamp workout and reap its total-body benefits.
Everything is done at a faster pace and bigger fashion at the holidays. You eat more, drink more, spend more money and sleep less. You feel time crunched; you do your last minute shopping; and as fast as you create the holidays, they disappear.
Recently I was a first-time substitute at a very fancy treadmill studio in one of the affluent neighborhoods in L.A. The studio has top-of-the-line equipment and a stellar reputation, and the clientele is demanding and particular.