We know. In the run-up to summer the thought of slowing down seems inconceivable, especially when it comes to your workout regime - which may have already been neglected slightly in the winter months -but hear us out. Without even knowing it, you may be sabotaging your 'summer goal' efforts by simply ignoring the warning signs.
A huge part of this comes down to your breath. When you're on high alert, you take shallow breaths which doesn't allow sufficient oxygen to your brain and body. Oxygen literally gives you energy (which research shows is also essential for burning fat,) so partaking in slow exercises that force you to focus on taking deep breaths will not only give you an instant energiser but also help you lose weight.
Too much stress in the body- which, FYI, can be caused by excessive amounts of high-intensity training - can even lead to high blood pressure which comes with a long list of detrimental health effects. So, before you think about skipping that stretch/yoga class…think of it as an instant health boost rather than just a relaxing stretch.
A huge misconception of slow exercise is that it's easy and that there's no way you could possibly break a sweat if you're not doing 100 burpees. The great news is that when forcing yourself to hold certain positions, you instinctively become aware of all the muscles working and your breath. In these still moments (that definitely won't be comfortable, yes you, Chair Pose) you should feel your heart starting to race and maybe even feel a drip of sweat on your upper lip.
Low-intensity steady-state exercise (aka, LISS) is not about performing loads of reps but instead about maintaining that steady pace throughout the workout (ideally 30min+) which gets your heart rate to optimal fat burning mode. Plus, you'll be concentrating so--bloody-much throughout your class, your work/family/life stress won't even won't even get a chance to enter your mind.
Some great things to add into your routine include:
* Pilates (Our new pilates class on wobble boards 'Bean Bod' maybe slower paced but my GOD it's a sweat fest. Check out our timetable to reserve your spot)
* Power Walking *podcasts are made for this*
* Ocean swimming (it may still be cold but try not to jump out after 5 minutes- you'll soon warm up!)
The writer is a female fitness expert
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