LOW IMPACT EXERCISE:
You’ve probably heard of Pilates, and you may have even tried a class or two at the gym. Pilates is designed to strengthen your muscles while improving your postural alignment and flexibility. (Read more about the benefits of improving your posture here). Properly done, Pilates mainly targets your core, but your whole body will get a workout. Expect slow, controlled movements and lots of breath control. The slow movements allow you to work muscles that you may not even had been aware of before, so expect some soreness the first week! Pilates not only helps you on the mat, but off the mat and into real life as well. Over time, your mobility and posture will improve, and you’ll feel that you can perform your daily tasks with more ease and grace.
- How It Works:
Pilates classes usually last about 45 minutes to an hour, but you can also find routines that are as short as 5 or 10 minutes long just for a quick reset. Although impact is low in Pilates, the exercises are highly effective. The Pilates Hundred, for example, focuses on constantly moving your arms up and down by your side two inches while you lay on your back holding a low crunch. Your abs are guaranteed to be burning before the 100th breath! More common exercises include: rolling like a ball, the roll-up, and leg circles on the mat.
- Pilates Routines:
- Tai Chi
Tai Chi originated in China as a martial art, but it has grown in fame in the West for its numerous benefits to our bodies and overall well-being. It is often called “mediation in motion.” If you aren’t used to working out, you’ll find Tai Chi easier than most workouts, as it is a mind-body practice. Nonetheless, there is evidence that it helps to treat and prevent many health problems. Anyone can practice and benefit from Tai Chi – from athletes to people with medical conditions. In fact, it is recommended to practice Tai Chi as we age in order to improve our quality of life. Combined with regular chiropractic treatment, this exercise is part of a wellness lifestyle. Movements in Tai Chi are circular, not forced, and very relaxed. Don’t expect to be posture-perfect, your joints will usually not be completely extended nor bent, but rather, in a more natural position through the motions. Some of its benefits are: improvement in muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and overall aerobic conditioning.
- How It Works:
While practicing Tai Chi, expect to go through the motions without pausing. The movements are named after animal actions and martial arts moves. Breathe deeply through the exercise, and focus your attention on your bodily sensations. Warm-ups include easy motions like shoulder circles, turning your head from side to side, rocking back and forth, and taking deep breaths. After the warm-up, there are sets of movements (short sets can include up to a dozen, while long sets can include hundreds). Shorter sets are recommended if you are older or aren’t in the best condition. Qigong (translated as breath work), enables you to practice gentle breathing along with movements to help relax the mind and get your body’s energy moving. For this you can stand, sit, or lay down.
- Tai Chi Routines:
MEDIUM/HIGH IMPACT EXERCISE:
If you are looking for a challenging workout that burns high amounts of calories, look no further than High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is a way of working out that can be done outside or at home, either by running, jumping rope, or simply using your own body in a variety of movements. One of the main benefits of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in this type of intense exercise is that you do not need to do it for a long time – half an hour a day is more than enough! Results that you can expect after consistently following a HIIT routine are: losing weight, building muscle, boosting your metabolism, feeling of endorphins, and burning calories even a couple hours after you are done exercising.
- How It Works:
Since HIIT is a high intensity level exercise, consult with your doctor and make sure that you have enough physical condition to safely follow a routine to avoid strains and sprains. If you have joint or muscle problems like arthritis, HIIT may not be the best fit for you. Do not let the high intensity language scare you, it is safe for beginners if you do not go as hard and take as many rests as you need. Eventually, you’ll work yourself to a true HIIT and reap all its benefits.
Usually, HIIT includes intervals where you push yourself anywhere for 30 seconds to 3 minutes, followed by a rest period that lasts for about the same time (check out the importance of performing dynamic stretches before starting any exercise here). Unlike Tabata (which is a specific form of HIIT), where you are supposed to exercise near your 100% intensity level during shorter intervals, you usually exercise at 80% of your maximum effort in HIIT.
Although HIIT is not intended to specifically target your core, arms, legs, and glutes, you will absolutely feel it everywhere, and everything will get a work out (especially if you add cardio exercises like squat jumps, high knees, lunges, burpees, etc.).
- HIIT Routines:
We hope that you now have a few more exercise routines in your repertoire! If you have never done one or all of these, why not try one today? Remember to always practice according to your own body, ability, and needs. Exercise safely, and we hope to see you soon at Kordonowy Chiropractic Center! Make your appointment at (828) 277-0903 and find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
8 Things to Know Before Your First Pilates Class. Abbate.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): What It Is, How to Do It. Robinson.
The health benefits of tai chi. Harvard Publishing.
These 13 HIIT Workouts Will Make You Forget Boring Cardio. Calvert & Samuel.