At Brush Park we have a guiding principle that we often talk about in casual conversations with our friends.  This principle quite simply is “be nice to your body.” In many ways this can be applied to your self-care by developing coping strategies that build you up versus break you down. Everyone deals with the stresses of life with some form of coping strategy. Chronic stress can take a toll on your body mentally and physically. This stress often gets in the way of your health and fitness goals.

Positive Self-Coping Strategies

Positive self-coping strategies such as exercise, yoga, meditation or even talking with your friends can help dissipate that chronic stress. As a parent you are juggling your own well being and the well being of your children. Which brings us back to the “be nice to your body” principle when applied to exercise.

The Negative Side of HIIT Classes

People think to get into shape and loss weight that they need the most intense form of exercise. This frequently is the popular HIIT classes. Even though HIIT classes are very effective. They are often very difficult for individuals to attend multiple times within a week. This leads to inconsistency in exercising and prevents individuals from achieving their fitness goals. HIIT classes need to be balanced with lower level intensity exercises like yoga, Pilates, or simply going for an easy jog. This provides the recovery for you to reap the benefits from your HIIT class. Other ways to help your body recover include drinking plenty of water, getting 7-9 hours of sleep, eating healthy nutritious food, and foam rolling.

Exercise has many long-term health benefits so choose exercises that you enjoy and can maintain on a consistent basis.  Most importantly you should evaluate what “getting into shape” means for you. It is time to stop the grinding cycle of pushing our bodies through intense classes because we are focused on losing a certain amount of weight within a specified amount of time.  Let go of these overly critical views of how your body looks and instead focus on how your body feels. Being healthy is a life-long goal. Here at Brush Park Gymnasium we are focused on getting you and your family healthy and happy by providing a balance that is sustainable.

The Long Term Health Benefits of Exercise

Let’s discuss what the health benefits for exercise actually are. Everyone knows that being physically active is good for the body but we primarily focus on how exercise affects our waistline.

Exercise decreases your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer including colon and breast. Exercise also helps lower blood pressure, maintain bone mineral density and improves mental health such as depression and anxiety.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of weekly moderate intensity exercise. This means attending that 60 minute HIIT class at least twice a week and then going for a 30 minute jog to round out your 150 weekly minutes.

Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

The good news is that there are benefits to any amount of exercise so let’s not get stuck on the numbers. Instead set a goal for yourself that you could consistently achieve. Maybe that means attending a HIIT class once a week while incorporating a weekly yoga class and playing at the park with your kids. The focus is on decreasing the time spent being sedentary and increasing the time you’re physically active. Find a balance between the fitness goals you want to achieve and the time you actually want to spend exercising.