Exercise is hard work – but what’s even harder is summoning up the motivation to get our not-going-to-be-skinny-for-much-longer asses to the gym. Or is this just my issue?
Assuming it’s an issue we all share, let’s talk about some cool workouts that may just be what you need to get you back into action!
Immersive Cycling (Digital Cycling)
Digital or immersive cycling is a low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. It’s basically spinning but with a different component – digital, visual, immersive stimulation.
The idea is to give the rider a visual or sensual experience to enhance the workout. The best part is, if you’ve ever done spinning, you will know that only 2 to 4 hours per week can help you achieve tremendous improvement in health, as well as your waistline.
Why Do Immersive Cycle?
Immersive cycling is cool for a lot of reasons.
- Being low impact, it hardly causes any strains or injuries compared to other forms of workouts.
- You utilize all the muscle groups.
- You can start it at any age and stamina level (unless you’re me who saw spots, then puked – kidding. Ok, not kidding).
- It’s one of the best workouts for increasing strength and stamina.
- You can start at any intensity and gradually increase it as you go.
- Immersive cycling, or any form of biking for that matter, is known to improve cardiovascular health.
- It’s known to improve muscle strength and flexibility.
- It can improve joint mobility.
- You can socialize without really having to socialize.
- It reduces body fat <ding,ding,ding,ding!>, improves posture, and also helps with concentration and memory issues.
What was I saying? Oh, and:
- It can prevent depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health issues.
I’ve never been a spin girl. Moving on.
Many people in the United States are known to give up running because they believe it can harm their body or cause permanent damage to their bones and muscles. If you are one of these people, then ChiRunning may just motivate you to give running one last shot.
More for less? Well, I’m interested!
What is ChiRunning?
ChiRunning is running in a particular posture – the right posture. When your posture is correct, the life energy (Chi or prana) flows through your body without any obstacles or hindrances. When you run out of posture – out of alignment – you end up creating tension and fatigue in your body.
By simply aligning the body properly, your body structure correctly balances your body weight instead of your muscles and bones taking up the load and getting strained in the process.
How to ChiRun
So, posture is VERY important in ChiRunning. Here are some basic tenets:
- Feet are parallel and hip-width apart
- Upper body, neck, and spine should all be straight and lengthened
- Your pelvis should be ‘leveled’. You can do so by placing one hand on your belly button and one hand on the sacrum just above the tailbone. This flattens the lower back and levels the pelvis. This posture is ideal for building abs and you must practice it every time you are standing. It will also help you get rid of backaches, etc.
- Now try and look at your shoelaces. If you cannot see them, it means your hips are too far forward. You can correct this by placing your fingers on your hipbone and slightly pushing your hips behind. This will help you keep your upper body directly over your feet.
- Once you can see your shoelaces, straighten your head.
It may seem a bit strange at first, but when you get used to it, you are sure to be lovin’ some runnin’!
The word ‘Peloton’ defines a group of riders in a bicycle race. The Peloton exercise bike has revolutionized fitness and is being deemed as the ‘best spin bike’ since it offers a totally immersive and socially connected workout.
What better way to stay interested? You can bike from the comfort of your home or simply find a Peloton class near you. The best part is, there’s always a class going on live, so, each time you hop on your bike, you can join the interactive classes to stay competitive and motivated.
There are hundreds of videos you can preview to help get you all psyched up, as well as to give you tips to maximize your workout. I like that you can schedule a class then set a reminder before the class begins.
Peloton cycles are an investment so you may want to find a class near you before bringing one home.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a dynamic and fun exercise and everyone that I’ve come in contact with that does it, is obsessed with it. Major body changer, HIIT. It combines alternating between intense aerobic activity and fixed periods of recovery.
It lasts only 30 minutes and is the shortest and most effective workout possible! Even Olympic trainees, soldiers and fitness enthusiasts worldwide prefer high intensity interval training for peak conditioning and to perform their best.
Reasons to HIIT
- It is never boring and can combine burpees, sprints, kettle bell swings, ball tosses and Olympic power cleans.
- HIIT sessions are one of most effective workouts for achieving weight goals, fat loss and other fitness needs.
- Fast fun and done in 30 minutes, you will burn more calories with HIIT in the first 10 minutes than you would after 30 minutes on the treadmill.
- HIIT workouts are fun, fresh and challenging for every participant; a coach can guide and motivate you to safely and properly have a killer full body workout in 30 minutes.
- You literally feed off the energy of those around you to achieve higher and higher levels of personal fitness.
The good news about HIIT is that it doesn’t take a huge investment. You can even do it at home! Check out these HIIT workout videos so you know what you’re getting yourself into!
Tabata is a highly effective workout training program developed by Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata, of Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Japan. The training protocols in Tabata are very simple but intense. The training time is only 4 minutes!
How Tabata Works
- You do a warm-up for 3-5 minutes followed by exercise for 20 seconds.
- This is followed by 10 seconds rest.
- This is followed by 20 second bout of intense training
- There are 8 cycles of the above for a total workout of 4 minutes.
Any exercise that ramps up quickly can work for this form of exercise: sprints, jumping rope, hill repeats.
It’s not easy to get motivated to work out. I was SO into my workouts before I started this blog, and stopped really for lack of time. I’m finding though, that getting back into the groove is a lot more difficult than anticipated.
The exercises given above are quite intense but are also fun and can keep your workout fresh. Starting any exercise routine is a huge commitment but you do not have to get overwhelmed. Plan carefully, start slow and gradually build up pace.
If you stay persistent, you will develop a routine that will stay with you for life! Blah, blah, blah. But I am a lot more motivated than before I wrote this article so I have hope! I’ll let you know how that goes!