DR. ANN’S AND THE TEAM’S FAVORITE WAYS TO EXERCISE
If the weather outside is frightful, indoor cycling is the answer. You get all the benefits of biking outdoors without having to contend with the environment.
Why it’s good: Indoor cycling effectively burns calories, builds muscle, and promotes cardiovascular health. Best of all, you can set your own pace. Each ride can be adjusted to your needs and capabilities.
Side benefit: Joining a spinning class can be rewarding in and of itself. It brings people of all fitness levels together so you won’t feel shy or out of place. You’ll meet new people, observe the form of the more advanced cyclists, and get motivated. You become more than just a group of cyclists – you become a team.
Barre and cardio fusion
A barre-based program incorporates classic ballet postures, as well as elements of yoga and Pilates. The barre itself is a waist-level horizontal bar on which ballet dancers prop themselves up during classes. The focus of the workout is isometric training and a small range of motion exercises.
Why it’s good: It builds strength, endurance, and flexibility. Aside from promoting core stability, it also emphasizes mind-body connection as it requires you to focus on the muscles that are working. It’s a great way to clear your head and turn down the noise in your day-to-day life.
Take it a step further: Adding a vital cardio component to your usual barre-based workout can help you slim down and sculpt muscle. High-intensity moves interspersed with brief periods of active recovery will get your heart racing.
Yoga is primarily a spiritual practice, but the physical discipline required to achieve the postures it prescribes for effective meditation has made it a fitness favorite.
Why it’s good: Yoga postures such as the triangle pose, standing bow, balancing stick, and standing head to knee are a mild form of exercise. Incorporating some of the more challenging standing and balancing poses can intensify your session. You can also do small adjustments, such as quick-stepping or jumping into different positions, instead of transitioning slowly.
Side benefit: Practicing yoga on a regular basis can complement your fitness regimen by improving treadmill endurance, balance, and muscle strength and control. The mental health benefits of yoga are also unparalleled, helping reduce anxiety and stress.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
HIIT has been around for a while, but new methods are being developed. The 3-3-3 total body workout, for one, uses a combination of power, strength, and stability moves to whip you into shape. As the name suggests, the workout begins with a brief but dynamic warm-up, followed by three mini circuits that consist of three moves each.
Rowing has been gaining so much traction that some fitness buffs are calling it “the new spinning.” When done correctly, rowing utilizes up to 85% of your muscles. It’s a low-impact, high-intensity workout with intervals on the rower followed by strength exercises on the mat. Rowing regularly can lead to increased endurance and gradual weight loss.
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