My 7 Best Body Solutions for Summer
29 October 2017
While I don’t believe in blindly following trends, I do still think it is good to keep yourself in the know, and make use of these trends in a way that works for you. Trends can help keep things interesting and can also provide a way for us to get out of our comfort zones by trying something new.
The international health and fitness industry is just exploding with innovation at the moment. From floor drumming workouts and cardio-barre classes, to pool surfing, animal flow and burst training, there is so much to choose from that you are bound to find a way to keep fit that you actually enjoy! While very different in form, what all of these new-age workouts do have in common is the notion of high intensity interval training, whereby short bursts of cardio are paired with strength-based exercises to maximize fat-burning in the shortest space of time. This builds endurance while torching fat and boosting the metabolism for up to 24 hours post-training.
Although many of these new fitness health and fitness trends have not yet hit South African shores, we still have plenty of local choices:
1. Cross Fit – cross fit gyms are pretty much all over the country these days. These type of workouts include constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more.
2. Cyrotherapy– now this is certainly not for everyone, but it does make biological sense and therefore holds some validity. Cryotherapy is an innovative way to burn fat by exposing the body to extremely low temperatures (below - 100°C) for a very short period of time (2-4 mins). The biochemical processes that occur during this process consume a great quantity of energy, around 500 to 800 calories per treatment. Undergoing a series of Cryosauna cryotherapy treatments effectively increases your rate of metabolism and helps restore proper body fat distribution. Cryo treatment sessions have also been shown to improve blood circulation, muscle tone, sleep, energy levels, concentration and mood. Remember this may work to slim you down initially, however you still need to eat well and exercise regularly if you want excess fat to stay off.
3. Power Yoga –is an athletic-based yoga flow that builds internal heat, increases stamina, strength, and flexibility, while simultaneously promoting stress reduction. Teachers design their own sequences, while students synchronize their breath with their movement. This style of yoga is far more intense than traditional vinyasa, and incorporates sweat-building cardio elements into the practice.
4. Yoxing – this fusion of yoga and boxing incorporates the fast-paced, hard hitting impact of boxing with the slow held poses yoga to yield major cardio-burn and muscle sculpting in one intense session.
5. Ballet-Barre – these barre based classes use a combination of postures inspired by ballet and other disciplines like yoga and Pilates. The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles) combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements." Some classes even incorporate light handheld weights to bring the burn during all those reps, as well as mats for targeted core work.
6. Electro-Muscle Stimulation Training(EMS) – this type of training uses a special device that is able to contract muscles via an electrical current that is passed through them. During EMS training, up to 90% of muscles are activated simultaneously and the muscle contractions are of higher quality and more intense than a voluntary exertion can do alone. Compared to conventional weight training, EMS training activates deeper muscle groups which leads to better balance amongst the muscles in the body and increased core stability.
What about Diet Trends?
So these for me are an absolute no no! When you get caught up in trend-directed dieting, you are bound to build an unhealthy relationship with food. When it comes to food, eating clean and simple is always the best way to go. Extremes are never the answer – when you start to cut out entire food groups and feel restricted in your choices, a complicated association with food follows suit, which can lead to binge eating cycles, guilt-driven exercise and ultimately a very unhealthy relationship with food. So when it comes to eating, stick to wholefoods, listen to your body, and eat the foods that make you feel good (remember we are all genetically different, and we have varying levels of activity – therefore our nutritional needs will inevitably be different). Look to your own body as a source of information rather than to what the latest trends are telling you to eat. There is nothing wrong with keeping informed and reading about new diet related research, however, be sure to play devil’s advocate before simply accepting any information that’s thrown your way.
Wholefoods eating itself seems to be doing its rounds in the media these days, but this way of eating is no secret, nor is it in any way novel or ground-breaking – it is how our ancestors used to eat – way back when packaged foods did not exist, they would eat food from the earth, in its natural form. So taking it back to basics is the easiest way to keep healthy without having to buy crazy expensive shakes or superfoods to get your health back on track.
As you can see, there are sooo many ways to keep fit and healthy. My few examples don’t even touch the tip of the iceberg. But at the end of the day, no matter how many options you do have, always stay true to what works best for you. Keep it simple, don’t go overboard, listen to your body, sleep well, eat wholefoods, exercise regularly but not too much, find a way to keep fit that you really enjoy, change it up every now and then to keep things interesting, and show your body some love.
Remember, your health is not a trend - it’s not a diet and it’s not temporary – it’s a sustainable lifestyle change…for the long run!
Yours in Health Always,