It’s no secret that life is demanding, difficult, and challenging – and at times, it can be outright daunting. But when life forces you into those stressful periods where it’s impossible to focus on yourself, it’s important to remember that when you begin to feel burnt out, there is a way to recharge the batteries and take control over your well-being.
One of the most common ways to get yourself back to neutral is to engage in some sort of physical activity. It’s easy to say to yourself, “I barely have enough energy to complete the tasks that I am required to complete – how can I possibly muster up enough energy to exercise or engage in something physical?”
The answer really isn’t too complicated – it all simply comes down to a mindset. When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, it isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. Sure, you can try out a new diet, you can make a commitment to cutting out carbs every other day, and you can purchase that new expensive gym membership knowing well that you probably won’t ever use it.
During these stressful times, it’s important to recognize that a mindset is needed to help gain the motivation necessary to truly make a change. And when you make that change, it needs to be all-out, it needs to be comprehensive, and most importantly, it needs to be high energy.
Before we begin to talk about a solution, let’s talk about the ways in which life can force us into prolonged periods of inactivity.
When we take a new job or an increase in our workload, engage in new relationships, place an emphasis on our children’s needs, experience an injury, or any other unforeseen occurrence, we lose a bit of control over our own sense of well-being. And when we lose that bit of control, part of our health takes a hit, it suffers, and with enough time, it can become even more damaged. After a layoff like this, it can be hard for us to get back to it. It can be tough knowing where we used to be physically and where we are now, especially when we never truly had a choice to begin with.
It’s easy to fall into a hole – a deep spiral with no way to climb out of it. And for many, this is simply what they would consider, “life.” But in reality, it doesn’t have to be this way. All it takes is a commitment to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, and from there, you can get yourself back on track and feeling your best again.
And again, you may ask yourself, “there are so many different pieces of advice when it comes to health and wellness, and there are an endless number of fitness regiments out there. How do I know which one is best for me?”
This is a typical case of analysis paralysis – a situation where we have almost too much information coming in, that our judgement becomes clouded, and it becomes harder and harder for us to make a real decision. But if there was any decision to make, it would be to block out everything and anything that isn’t a high intensity fitness regimen.
At the end of the day, that is all you need to get yourself back on track.
Understanding that life happens and that there are a multitude of different lifestyle activities for someone to choose from when resuming an exercise program is absolutely key to get yourself started. In fact, researchers at the University of British Columbia Okanagan believed this too. In a recent study, they wanted to determine which type of fitness program would offer the most enjoyment for those who had experienced prolonged periods of stress in their lives. It turns out, upping the intensity is key.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) and spring intensity training (SIT) are reliable fitness programs that allow participants to make the most out of their workout from a physical standpoint, in addition to allowing participants to reap a number of mental benefits – all stemming from an incredibly powerful release of endorphins.
Participants in the study found greater enjoyment and an increased likelihood to continue training when performing HIIT and SIT training, despite its difficulty, over more traditional and lower intensity aerobic exercises, such as jogging or cycling. And while the reports in this study are extremely valuable as we move forward, it is also important to note that jogging and cycling can both be made into HIIT and SIT training programs.
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT – as it’s more commonly referred to as, requires the participant to engage in an intense fitness training session that includes a number of movements or mini-sessions of increased and decreased heart rate over a shorter period of time.
According to WebMD, HIIT is a challenging cardio workout that pushes your body to a new level. “You’ll lose weight, build muscle, and boost your metabolism.” In addition, your body even continues to burn calories nearly two hours after you complete your workout. Due to this benefit, HIIT workouts are shorter – but they’re certainly more intense.
Because HIIT is such an intense workout, it allows us to feel certain benefits. For example, the boost in our metabolic processes will allow us to feel lighter on our feet, more reactive, and more aware, while the endorphins released for up to two hours after our workout will leave us feeling good, positive, and in a peaceful state.
These types of workouts are perfect for those who feel like they’ve lost control over their lives because they can be done anywhere, and at any time. You don’t require a gym to engage in a HIIT workout – in fact, you don’t even need a real regimen or program – you simply need the determination and the commitment to do it. And most importantly, you need to promise yourself that you’re going to take the time that you need each and every day to focus on you and to achieve the sense of well-being that you deserve – even in periods of prolonged stress.
Now that you’re aware of all of the benefits that HIIT programs can offer you both physically and mentally, let’s take a look at the three top rated programs in New York City, San Francisco, and Miami. We’ll feature one HIIT studio from each city, and then it’s up to you to make the commitment that you need to make, so that you can achieve the sense of well-being that you deserve.
Switch Playground is a unique fitness studio located in the East Village, south of Houston street. If you’re a New Yorker, then you’re certainly no stranger to boutique fitness studios, and you’ve probably tried a few out yourself, whether it be a boutique yoga studio or a boutique spin studio.
But today, you can head on over to Switch Playground by yourself or with a friend to try out their High Intensity Interval Training program. Refinery29 describes it as “bootcamp-meets-HIIT.” The class is a hybrid class that offers a fun, night club vibe, complete with disco balls and music.
This could be the best way to introduce you to a challenging workout – some fun, some music, and some comradery.
If you’re living on the West Coast, San Francisco is another city that has no shortage of boutique fitness studios. And when it comes to HIIT programs, there’s always a studio that engages in the challenging regimen.
We’d recommend that you pay a visit to BODYROK. Located on Polk Street, BODYROK offers high intensity Pilates classes on their custom-built reformers, which is surely going to be an experience for anyone who’s never tried a reformer machine before.
This studio is unique, well-regarded, and offers an interesting form of Pilates that can surely get the job done.
If you’re from down south – and we mean the sunny city of Miami, then look no further. Barry’s Bootcamp Midtown was ranked 3rd in Miami New Times’ top ten fitness studios in the city of Miami.
Featuring a comprehensive HIIT regimen, Barry’s Bootcamp Midtown “combines high-energy bursts of activity with short periods of lower-energy activity, followed by a cool-down.” In other words, this is text-book HIIT at it’s very best.
Designed to help you make the most out of every workout, it’s safe to say that you’ll target all of your body areas with the passing of each class, because Barry’s changes up the target area with each HIIT.
Known for high-class workout equipment, spotless weight rooms, and cool-toned aesthetics, Equinox is heralded as the premiere training gym in many major U.S. cities. However, they also boast some of the most professionally-crafted workout regimes that combine barefoot body-weight training, HIIT, and “Master of One” concepts, also known as working out one-side of your body at a time.
Designed to help you target and explore certain muscles groups in your body that are often ignored, Equinox classes will whip your body into shape in no-time.
If you’ve finally decided to make the commitment to change your life, to take control over your well-being, to focus on nutrition and health, and to strive each and everyday to place a larger emphasis on yourself, it’s time that you choose.
You can commit to changing your life – that’s one part of it, but you have to choose happiness. Once you commit to bettering yourself through exercise, nutrition, and well-being, you have to choose to live life on your own terms, and from there, you’ll be unstoppable.
Now, your next steps don’t have to be monumental – they can be as little as looking into a HIIT workout that you can do at home, a local fitness studio that offers HIIT classes, or even trying one out for yourself with a friend.
From there, let the change come naturally. All you have to do is stick to the plan, stand by your commitment, and ensure that you never stray from the path. You have the power to set your own pathway towards happiness, because the happiness and well-being that you’re pursuing is your own.
In other words, you set the rules, you outline the path, and only you alone can make the choice to pursue it.
Matthew J. Stork, Martin J. Gibala, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis. Psychological and behavioral responses to interval and continuous exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2018; 1 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001671
Comments will be approved before showing up.