Hi there! So some of you may have read the subject here and thought, what is HIIT? Well it's High Intensity Interval Training. Why is it important? Because short bursts of intense movement with short rest periods in between make the body burn more fat faster and help improve your cardio vascular system. You lose fat, not muscle as can happen in some strictly cardio workouts. It also improves motor skills and helps to keep your brain healthy and alert because of the changing up of movement patterns. Now don't get me wrong, I love to just go for a run outside and that IS a great workout and I know some of you love your spin classes, BUT it is important also to remember that you should be doing different forms of exercise to really gain benefit from your exercise. Here are some easy to learn HIIT exercises that can be completed in a short amount of time....
Start with a squat and alternating lunge warm up. This gets the whole body working right away with time to give attention to alignment, breath, and core stability.
First: Run forward with your arms over your head, then jump up and finish in a chair pose squat. As you move backward, pull your arms down to your chest and alternate knees up. Repeat this for about 45 seconds.
Second: Drop and do pushups. Slow it down and focus on the core for about 30 seconds...I use this as a recovery movement so if this is too intense, use the 30 seconds to rest.
Third: Jumping Jacks. Do as many as you can, as quickly as possible for 45 seconds.
Fourth: Crunches. This is done slowly with core control, just like the pushups for 30 seconds. Just count in your head to 30. :) ALSO IMPORTANT: You want to slow down the crunches and the push ups so when you count, you will probably not actually do 30 of each, but try to strive for between 15 and 20.
REPEAT ALL 4 STEPS 3 MORE TIMES.
Cool Down: After your last set of crunches, roll onto your knees and get into a childs pose. Let the lower spine go, let the head go and just breathe. I like to also include a couple of cat/cow poses, and very finally, sit in a position that is comfortable and close your eyes and stack your bones up on your "sitz" bones. Breathing here, you want to focus your attention on any particular spot that feels extra tight in your body and without trying to "force" it to release, just breathe into it and create space and length in your body.
This is a great energizing, quick and efficient little workout.
Self Discipline is the first step to creating the body you want. Each step is another building block, moving you in an upward trajectory toward anything your heart desires. You just need to keep stepping and building and keep a fierce tenacity.
NUTRITION TIP: EAT YOUR GREENS
It's easy right now to just keep eating the warm mac and cheese and pasta of any kind in this cold weather. Even our soups tend to not be green veggie choices. SO, eat some kale or spinach especially if you're mostly vegetarian like I am. Kale and spinach have iron that our bodies need. I like to throw the greens in a pan with olive oil, chopped garlic and a little lemon juice. This makes the greens pretty tasty.
I have been getting asked by my clients this question lately, "How do I make the bed without tweaking my back?" SO, I decided to share a couple of #tips that will illustrate just that.
When you start to make your bed, make sure that you are standing parallel with your entire body facing one side of the bed. NUMBER 2: As you grab that top sheet, be aware of your body. You want to turn and pivot your foot, knee and hip to face the direction where you first grab the sheet and then pivot the opposite way to pull the sheet and tuck it in. REMEMBER, engage your abs, think of your belly button as a zipper and pull it up and in towards your ribcage as you execute this movement. If your bed is lower to the ground, bend your knees a bit and continue engaging your core as you tuck that sheet in. You do NOT want to hinge at the waist without engaging your abs and bending your knees as this will definitely pull on your lower back muscles. NUMBER 3: When you walk around to the other side of the bed, make sure that you pivot the same way on that side as well...foot, knee and hip in alignment. When you grab your duvet or comforter, make sure that you are still pivoting and engaging your core. NUMBER 4: Try it with a breath as well, exhaling as you finish the pull and tuck movement. Every time you turn your body to grab a pillow or anything else, make sure that you do the same pivot from foot to knee to hip. This will prohibit you from rotating a spine that MAY have a weak core and cause back pain. FINALLY: As you are finished with the task of the bed, face the bed from one side and do a little stretch for your spine, first flattening then curling your spine, as a pseudo cat/cow pose. AND if you are so inclined, Make a plank pose on the side of the bed and perform push ups or hold a plank. Now look at that! You have warmed your body up AND engaged your core muscles before you even began your day! FANTASTIC!
See the video below to get an even better idea and happy bed making.
THE SIMPLEST TASKS CAN FEEL DIFFICULT IF YOU ARE NOT INHABITING YOUR BODY, AND THE BEST WAY TO INHABIT IT IS TO BE AWARE OF EVERY BODY PART. WHICH WAY IS YOUR BODY FACING? ARE YOU FAVORING ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER? ARE YOU BREATHING? THOSE 3 QUESTIONS CAN HELP YOU FEEL GOOD IN YOUR BODY, AND FEELING GOOD IN YOUR BODY FEELS GOOD TO THE SOUL.