The new year is here, and with it our New Year’s resolutions! One of the most common resolutions is to focus on your physical health, and while challenging, there are many ways to achieve it. Here are a few ways that you can reach your physical fitness goals in 2023 by integrating HITT and Yoga to your routine.
If you are looking for a workout that gives you the greatest gains for your effort, look no further than HIIT. HIIT is short for high intensity interval training, which consists of brief bursts of vigorous exertion followed immediately by short periods of rest, working the muscle group to its maximum ability. HIIT also encourages excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC), which, in lay terms, means that your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate after a HIIT workout than it would after other exercises.
HIIT can involve a variety of equipment, including weights, resistance bands, BOSU balls, abdominal rollers, battle ropes, treadmills, rowing machines, stationary bikes, and more. This doesn’t mean that you need a home gym to do HIIT, but these tools are a great way to take the workout to further levels, since they help increase endurance and agility, build muscle, and burn calories. HIIT is a challenging workout that requires perseverance, but it’s incredibly effective and efficient.
What to Expect as a Beginner
Although HIIT is intense, there is no expectation for you to be in beast mode during your first workout. In the beginning, take advantage of modifications, lower weights, and shorter, less intense bursts of energy. Don’t worry – you’ll become stronger but ensure that your level of intensity is just challenging enough for where you are today. Form and alignment are also critical, since making a move incorrectly both reduces its effectiveness and increases risk of injury. If in doubt, ask your instructor for modifications.
Where to HIIT
Taking classes is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to HIIT. Gyms like Crunch Fitness and YMCA offer HIIT classes, so check your local branches for their availability. Gyms that specialize in HIIT can be especially beneficial for newcomers since instructors are specifically trained in the practice. Orange Theory is one of the more well-known facilities offering HIIT classes, with locations throughout Orlando. XYMOGYM on Kingspointe Parkway is an outstanding gym that specializes in HIIT, including regular classes focused on various muscle groups. The facilities are pristine, and the trainers are extremely knowledgeable in modifications and the science behind the moves. They also offer InBody scans, an exact, in-depth way to track your progress.
Yoga is an extraordinary practice. It includes stretching, breathing, and alignment through a variety of poses that are either held for several moments or “flowed through.” Although the movements of yoga are slower and more intentional, yoga can be just as intense on your muscles, even if it does not raise your heart rate as high as HIIT or other exercises might.
There are many benefits of yoga. It affects many physiological systems, including musculo-skeletal, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, lymphatic, uro-genital, fascial, and more. While yoga can be done independent of other exercises for its benefits to these systems, it can also boost the benefits of your more intense workouts. In any capacity, yoga is always a good idea.
What to Expect as a Beginner
Yoga is great for beginners, with many moderations and props to assist you. Just like with HIIT, proper form is essential not only to avoid injury, but also to ensure that muscle groups are appropriately activated. Yoga makes use of straps, bolsters, blankets, and blocks to make the stretches deeper and help with limited flexibility (when you can’t reach your toes or the floor, props will “bring the floor to you”). Almost all yoga props are available in varying shapes and sizes to accommodate all body types.
At your first class, make sure you bring a mat, towel, and water. Tell your instructor you’re a beginner, and they will be happy to offer props, modifications, or corrections. Some instructors do hands-on modifications, meaning that they will gently touch you to correct your posture or push a stretch a little further. This is totally optional – instructors can just as easily talk you through a modification if you let them know what you’re comfortable with.
Where to Practice
Just like HIIT, most gyms like YMCA and Crunch Fitness offer yoga classes, from flow (more fast-paced) to yin (slower, with poses held for longer). The Peaceful Peacock in the Hourglass District is a beautiful studio that focuses on intentional inclusivity with daily classes for yogis of all levels. Maitland Harmony Yoga just north of Winter Park is another fantastic option that offers yin, flow, and hatha. Both studios have drop-in rates and often run specials for new students. In addition to HIIT classes, XYMOGYM also offers yin yoga for recovery.
New Year’s resolutions can be daunting, but with a little courage and dedication, you can crush your goals and get results.