With the increase in sports medicine, chiropractor, physical therapy and massage therapy appointments among U.S. citizens, I am a firm believer that changing up your daily exercise routine will help prevent or minimize injury from overuse or repeated improper form. When i use the word “daily” this includes sitting on the couch for a day of rest – I am not one to always adhere to this, however, after being pregnant I am learning to appreciate my body’s fragility and need to a day or two to recover. The types of exercise I engage in are the following:
Tabata/ HIIT Interval Training –
This type of workout allows your body to fatigue and recover over a short duration – I have found that these short mentally and physically challenging exercises allow my body to handle stress in a healthier manner. By mentally knowing that every X amount of seconds/minutes I will be changing my position I have the ability to transform my thinking in my daily life to know that “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.” In addition, I believe that these workouts physically condition the body to build finer muscle strength and stamina, and they are short-lived — who wouldn’t want to participate in such an activity!!! I typically obtain these workouts from YouTube, and will post which one I have done for a given day – if you happen to be a parent at home with a baby then you will love these HOME workouts too.
Steady-State Cardio –
Ideally this type of workout would be obtained on a workout machine at home or at the gym – or if your knees are stable enough….HIT THE PAVEMENT and RUN! This workout entails a longer piece; over an hour in duration is typically my goal. This workout is not meant to be an “all out” piece, it is simply something to keep a steady heart rate. I am not going to give exact numbers here as my resting heart rate is extremely low, however when I workout my heart rate jumps up relatively fast – even at my peak conditioning of marathon training. That being said, I do not believe that everyone has a similar cardiovascular system and it is important to find the “norm” for yourself. I can, however, let you know that you should not feel extremely exhausted or that you’re putting in a TON of effort to get this type of workout accomplished. The purpose of this workout, for me, is to condition my body to go the extra distance and to experience a rush of endorphins at termination of the endless rotations experienced by my hip joints. The after effects of this work out assist me while I’m at work or out with my friends/ family as I will not tire as easily – a day on your feet requires some degree of fitness!
Hot Yoga and Barre Classes –
I began attending hot yoga classes in 2010, and fell in love with the feeling AFTER class had ended! I initially started with Bikram style and then transitioned to Baptiste Power Vinyasa yoga. I am not really set on a particular style I just enjoy being in a heated room lengthening my muscles for an hour and a half. Call me crazy, but nothing beats the rejuvenating and energizing feeling you experience as you walk out of the studio with oxygen-rich blood circulating through your body. During the class you might feel like you are going to pass out – this is completely normal for students who even go on a daily basis – stick with it and remember to HYDRATE before, during and after! The one thing I will never let anyone tell me not to do during a hot yoga class is not drink water or criticize my water consumption – I know what MY body needs. The other class that I have recently found a passion for is barre class, this class is a composition of ballet and circuit training. My sister introduced me to the class in 2013 and I cannot thank her enough – I have even bought a ballet barre (made with basic materials from Home Depot) and look up videos on YouTube if I cannot make it to a class at a local studio. These classes give me the ability to build strength and muscle while in a state of relaxation instead of a mentally grueling battle to accomplish another endurance milestone.
Weight-Baring Exercise –
This category covers any bootcamp, CrossFit or other classes requiring the use of large muscle groups. This type of class gives me the ability to strengthen my muscles to assist me in the preceding exercises more efficiently and with less exertion. Every now and then it feels nice to get your heart rate revved up and let your inner anger out as you try to accomplish as many rounds or pounds during a given class – this is where mental toughness is obtained.
Endurance/Strength Cardiovascular Classes –
This is the section where I like to say I LOVE SOULCYCLE. I have attended spinning classes (also known as stationary bike cycling) since I was in middle school. I have always found the class to be a great workout with different routines, challenges and amazing music. I always enjoyed random cycling classes, however, when my sister (she’s extremely hip) introduced me to soulcycle in 2011 my life was forever changed – I honestly am speechless when I try to describe this class. The blend of motions, music, energy and physical exertion that happens during this class is unreal – all I can say is, you have to attend this class to understand the true zen that is thrown down.
The wonderful thing about all of these workouts is that they can be done at home or while traveling, either via YouTube, the great outdoors, with modifications using your own body weight or attending a local class in the town you’re exploring. This means you get the opportunity to release those happy endorphins at any moment in time – granted your baby isn’t crying and demanding attention!