Working Out Working Out: What workout is right for you?

For softball we have morning workouts that start at 6:00am and go until 6:45am. One day we had a grueling morning workout with one of our coaches who is notorious for making exercises as hard as possible. She told us we would be running killers all morning but she added her own special twist. We were supposed to run one killer and then we had to do ten reps of a given exercise. Then after finishing the exercises we ran two killers and did ten reps of two given exercises.

After my first killer I was confident I could out run most of my teammates. By the third set my confidence had run out the door leaving me behind. I was sucking wind and wondering why I couldn’t have just been sick that day. I can remember the feeling of not being able to breathe and the sweat dripping down my face. We kept building up like this for the longest 45 minutes of my life until the whole team was on the verge of throwing up, half of us wish we would’ve just so we could have sat out. By the end of the morning I had ran a total of 21 killers and done 210 reps of exercises.

Even though it was awful while I was doing it, I will never forget how good I felt the rest of the day. I mean, granted I was pretty sore the day after, I still felt pretty good. Don’t get me wrong, I would never voluntarily do this again but it helped me in the long run.

Exercising is great for your body, it makes you feel good, helps you stay fit, and helps you lose weight. Sometimes doing the same routine all the time can get boring though, especially if it is something you don’t enjoy. There are so many different exercises that people do not even know exist. Finding the right workout for you is super important, and it can even change how you think about working out.

Yoga

Yoga is a form of exercise that involves controlling your breathing but also meditation and body posture. Along with being around for thousands of years, there are over 100 different branches of this ancient exercise program. Yoga is great for relaxation and is a core workout. Classes vary from relaxing vinyasas to high intensity power yoga, meaning there is a yoga class for almost every type of person.

 

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Photo by Roman Davayposmotrim / pexels

In a study by Boston University School of Medicine researchers found that ¨yoga may be superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety¨. They also found that yoga can be a potential therapy method for some sorts of mental disorders.

There are many ways that yoga improves your health:

  1. Yoga improves your flexibility. The more and more you practice yoga, the more flexible you will get. You could go into class not being able to touch your toes and over time your muscles will loosen up and you’ll be able to do things you never imagined possible.
  2. It increases your blood flow. Because of how relaxing yoga is, eventually this can cause your circulation to improve tremendously. Yoga is also known to help oxygen to travel to different cells in your body, improving function.
  3. Yoga makes you happier. Studies have shown that practicing yoga consistently can help with depression. Meditation can help people have heightened levels of happiness and immune function
  4. It helps you focus. Yoga can help you improve your coordination, reaction time, and has even been proven to improve people´s IQ scores.

 

Latin Hip Hop/Dancing

Not only is this a great workout, but it is also a fun, different way to burn calories. It´s a full body workout that helps improve your heart function, balance, and coordination. Dancing is a great way to work every part of your body, from your legs to your abs and arms. People from all workout history can do it, no matter how skilled you are. Depending on what type of dance you do, dancing can affect your mood in multiple ways.

Any type of dancing workouts have several mental and physical health benefits.

  1. Improved mood is probably the most common. Depending on what genre of dance, your mood can completely change from the beginning to the end of the workout.
  2. Decreased stress. Dancing is a great way to let off steam from a rough day. It helps people express emotions that they might have problems dealing with, resulting in relaxation.
  3. Weight loss, just like with any other exercise, is a positive effect of dancing. During dance you work almost all your muscles, no matter what type of dance you are doing.
  4. Increased resilience. Being able to keep your whole body moving for a solid 3 minutes at a time increases endurance tremendously.

Tabata

While tabata is a very well known workout, people sometimes forget how effective and mood boosting it can be. For those of you who don’t quite know what tabata is its a series of high intensity exercises that typically last for about 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. This pattern is repeated several times with a bunch of different exercises. Essentially tabata is a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).

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Photo by Scott Webb / Pexels

Tabata has multiple health benefits, including:

  1. It helps you burn fat just like any other form of exercise.
  2. It protects muscle tissue. Because of the short intervals, muscle tissue isn’t worn away at as much as it would be in typical cardio exercise.
  3. Your aerobic and anaerobic capacities increase. This basically means that when you’re working out, you have more energy on less oxygen.

Tabata is great way for people who are already athletic to improve their endurance. With this said, tabata is not recommended for people who aren’t used to working out or aren’t prepared to work out continuously for extended periods of time.

Barre

Barre was designed by a ballerina from Germany who injured her back and wanted a way to incorporate dance into her exercises for physical therapy. Eventually one of her students decided to carry on the idea and started making classes. Barre is a type of exercise that is similar to ballet and is designed to workout your whole body. It essentially mixes multiple exercises including yoga, dance, and pilates together.

Some benefits of barre are:

  1. Even though it is super hard, it doesn’t hurt your joints as much as other exercises.
  2. It targets specific parts of your body at a time, using different exercises to make sure that every muscle gets worked.
  3. You will be able to lose inches and weight. Barre exercises target all your muscles, including some of the larger muscles in your body. This results in the building of lean muscle mass.

What´s best for you?

Knowing your body type and what you want to get out of your workout can help you find what form of exercise is best for you.  Keep in mind that exercise alone is not necessarily all you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, although it is an important part. Trying to go out of your comfort zone when it comes to working out is a great way to find out what type of exercise benefits you the most. Finding an exercise that you like can make exercising something to look forward to instead of a chore.

———Featured image by picjumbo.com / pexels

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