6 Exercise Programs To Get You Moving Every Day

6 Exercise Programs To Get You Moving Every Day

Photo by Jonathan Borba.

When exercising from home, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do and when to do it, especially if you follow online workout videos. That gnawing, can’t-make-a-decision-what-to-put-on, feeling isn’t only limited to streaming sites. Sometimes the sheer volume of offerings that come back when you type in “HIIT workout” on YouTube can feel daunting.

So for those times when you’d rather just get on and do some exercise without all the decision-making of what you should be doing, why not try an exercise program? These are, essentially, curated calendars guiding you through a certain number of pre-chosen workout routines. And the good news is that there are plenty of them out there.

From yoga to HIIT, if you look hard enough you can find a program to suit almost any taste. But to keep things simple for now, we thought we’d share 6 excellent exercise programs that’ll help keep you motivated to move every day. We hope there’s something here for everyone!

IGNITE | 28 Day Yoga Program | ALL LEVELS YOGA CHALLENGE – Breathe and Flow

 

30 Day Workout Challenge – MrandMrsMuscle

 

30 Days of Yoga – Yoga With Adriene

 

30 DAY STRETCH CHALLENGE – Fearless Motivation Fitness

 

100 Days of Tai Chi – David Dorian Ross

 

Wake Up With Joe – Joe Wicks

Keep it going!

If you’d like even more at-home workouts then why not take a look at these 14 YouTube Channels For A Free Workout Fix.

 

14 YouTube Channels For A Free Workout Fix

14 YouTube Channels For A Free Workout Fix

Photo by Szabó Viktor

YouTube is good for many things, and exercise is one of them. With a bit of space, a yoga mat, and a good internet connection, you have access to hundreds upon hundreds of high quality exercise videos. Any time of day, all for free.

So for those days when the weather’s too cold, or you’re not feeling like leaving the house, or you just want to supplement your gym sessions with shorter home-workouts, here are 14 excellent Youtube channels for a free workout fix.

Popsugar Fitness

 

Yoga With Adriene

 

HASfit

 

Breathe and Flow

 

Jazzercise, Inc.

 

Fitness Blender

 

Turbulence Training

 

ATHLEAN-X

 

Yoga With Kassandra

 

Koboko Fitness

 

THENX

 

Move With Nicole

 

Chistian Guzman

 

MrandMrsMuscle

 

Exercising at home

For more home-based workout ideas, take a look at these 21 morning workout routines you can perform in less than 10 minutes.

14 Youtube Channels For A Free Workout Fix

14 Youtube Channels For A Free Workout Fix

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

YouTube is good for many things, and exercise is one of them. With a bit of space, a yoga mat, and a good internet connection, you have access to hundreds upon hundreds of high quality exercise videos. Any time of day, all for free.

So for those days when the weather’s too cold, or you’re not feeling like leaving the house, or you just want to supplement your gym sessions with shorter home-workouts, here are 14 excellent Youtube channels for a free workout fix.

Popsugar Fitness

 

Yoga With Adriene

 

HASfit

 

Breathe and Flow

 

Jazzercise, Inc.

 

Fitness Blender

 

Turbulence Training

 

ATHLEAN-X

 

Yoga With Kassandra

 

Koboko Fitness

 

THENX

 

Move With Nicole

 

Chistian Guzman

 

MrandMrsMuscle

 

Exercising at home

For more home-based workout ideas, take a look at these 21 morning workout routines you can perform in less than 10 minutes.

Reduce Stress And Increase Flexibility With Yin Yoga

Reduce Stress And Increase Flexibility With Yin Yoga

Yoga is an incredibly diverse form of exercise, with lots of styles to choose from to suit any fitness level and taste.

Whether you’re looking to build core strength, increase flexibility, deepen your spiritual practise, or compliment other forms of exercise, there’s a style of yoga for you.

There are some styles, however, that are generally more popular than others. And some that fall a little under the general radar. Yin yoga could be seen as one of the latter, but it’s a fantastic practise with some amazing benefits.

So this week we’ll be talking all about yin yoga: what makes it a great practise, and why you should consider incorporating it into your exercise routine.

What is yin yoga?

On a fundamental level there are two types of yoga: yin and yang. Yang yoga (vinyasa, Hatha, etc.) focuses more on the “superficial” muscles, whilst yin yoga focuses on the body’s deep connective tissues. Ideally the best approach is to combine the two styles, thus giving ourselves a balanced practise.

Yin is the quieter and more passive style of the two. Typically it focuses on the lower body (hips, pelvis, thighs, spine), and consists of a series of long-held poses that can each last upwards of five minutes.

It offers a more introspective practise than many other types of yoga, helping us cultivate patience and stillness, whilst subtly improving our flexibility and mobility.

Yin yoga can be particularly beneficial for people who are overactive and busy. If you lead a relatively stressful life, or if you engage in regular and intense exercise, yin could be the perfect counterbalancing practise.

But don’t be fooled by its reflective and passive nature. Yin yoga is just as challenging as any other discipline. The primary difficulty of yin can be found in holding poses for such prolonged periods of time. In general, most of us aren’t accustomed to staying still and quiet for more than a few seconds at a time. And, as such, deliberately engaging in stillness can feel surprisingly unusual and disagreeable. This is where many of the challenges, and benefits, unique to this style are to be found.

Why practise yin?

Yin yoga really is for anyone, but it can be especially beneficial for those who are over-stimulated, under-energised, and tired.

If you have a restless mind and body, and struggle to sit still, yin yoga may be the perfect remedy. The same goes for people who are in constant search of stimulation. Checking our phones every minute, shifting our attention from this to that and that to this, are habits that can be very effectively subdued by a yin yoga practise. Yin is all about stilling the mind and developing patience.

Some benefits of yin yoga

Poor posture, daily wear and tear, and ageing, all contribute to the increased tightness of our connective tissues. Yin yoga helps to alleviate this build up of tension and stiffness by gently lengthening muscles and fascia.

It’s a practise that increases range of motion by gently stressing our joints and connective tissues. And in this way yin yoga can act as a very practical and functional form of exercise, especially as we get older.

Though it’s by no means a quick fix, there are many benefits that a long-term yin yoga practise can yield, which include:

Reduced stress.

Increased circulation.

Improved mobility and flexibility.

Reduced tension.

Try something new

For many people, yin yoga may initially sound unappealing. The idea of sitting still, in sometimes uncomfortable postures, for long periods of time, isn’t the most enticing offer. But that’s exactly why you should consider giving it a go.

Chances are, if yin yoga doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, it’s because of the pace and stillness it entails. But those characteristics of the practise often turn out to be the reasons why people come to love it.

For lots of people, yin yoga is their only opportunity to be still and quiet, to slow down and reflect. And it’s in creating that quiet space that yin allows us to discover new avenues to wellbeing. After all, cardio and strength training aren’t the only paths to a healthy life.

Resources

If you’re curious about yin yoga but aren’t sure where to start, take a look at the following routines on YouTube. They’re perfect for beginners, and are led by excellent teachers…

And if you want to go even deeper into the theory and science of the practice, any of the following books would be a great place to start:
Yin Yoga by Kassandra Reinhardt
The Complete Guide To Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark
Yin Yoga Principles & Practice by Paul Grilley
A Journey Into Yin Yoga by Travis Eliot

Keeping a healthy mind

For more on the art and benefits of slowing down, why not try these 11 Tai Chi and Qi Gong routines with Sifu Paul Nathan, or learn about how meditation can benefit your workout regime.

6 Books For Pilates Enthusiasts

6 Books For Pilates Enthusiasts

Photo by Vincenzo Malagoli from Pexels

In our last post we discussed some of the reasons why practising Pilates is good for you. This week, sticking with the same theme, we thought we’d offer some resources for anyone looking to develop their understanding of the practise and go a little deeper.

So we’ve compiled 6 books on Pilates that we think could really help to expand your knowledge of this wonderful form of exercise. We hope you enjoy!

The Pilates Handbook – Brooke Siler

From the blurb: “Pilates is the new fitness phenomenon with hundreds of studios now opening up across Britain. The devotees include Madonna, Uma Thurman, Sharon Stone, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Anniston. This book offers an at-home guide to the pilates method, giving a whole new body within 30 sessions.”

Who it’s for: home practitioners and those looking for a book with good visual instructions.

In short: an excellent book filled with clear photographs and easy-to-follow exercises from a renowned Pilates instructor.

The Women’s Health Big Book of Pilates – Brooke Siler

From the blurb: “Using the body as the ultimate fitness vehicle and taking inspiration from yoga, dance, and strength training, Pilates transforms bodies in record time. This title guides readers in every step (and leg lift…) of the way. From basic mat moves to the right foods that fuel a lean, toned figure, it is suitable for beginners and experts alike.”

Who it’s for: those looking for a large and diverse workbook with lots of variation.

In short: a thorough and fun guide to Pilates, crammed with hundreds of exercises.

Caged Lion: Jospeh Pilates and His Legacy – John Howard Steel

From the blurb: “Part biography, part history, and part memoir, “Caged Lion” untangles for the first time Joseph Pilates’s opaque life story and the perilous journey of his exercise program known the world over as Pilates.”

Who it’s for: those interested in the history of Pilates and the life of its founder.

In short: a fascinating look at the man who created one of the most famous exercise regimens in modern history.

Pilates Body in Motion – Alycea Ungaro

From the blurb: “Stretch yourself at your own pace with tailored programmes for beginner, intermediate and advanced level. More than 50 exercises are demonstrated with clear photographs and annotated with expert advice showing you exactly what to do and what not to do. Written by a pioneer of the Pilates method, Alycea Ungaro brought the first mat Pilates classes to New York nearly 20 years ago.”

Who it’s for: those interested in developing and deepening a home Pilates practise.

In short: a practical, functional, and helpful guide to the Pilates method, written by one of its early pioneers.

Pilates for Beginners – Katherine Corp & Kimberly Corp

From the blurb: “No matter your fitness level–whether you’re in great shape or have never set foot in a gym–learning to do Pilates means going back to the basics. Teaching you core Pilates exercises and easy sequences, Pilates for Beginners is the ultimate starter guide to confidently practice Pilates at home.”

Who it’s for: those just starting out with PIlates.

In short: a simple and accessible introductory guide to practising Pilates.

Pilates Anatomy – Rael Isacowitz

From the blurb: “With detailed descriptions, step-by-step instruction and stunning full-colour anatomical illustrations, this title takes you inside the exercises and programmes that tone the body, stabilise the core, improve balance and increase flexibility.”

Who it’s for: those looking to learn more about the anatomical side of the Pilates method.

In short: an interesting dive into the physiological aspects of Pilates, revealing how and why the movements affect our bodies.

Practising Pilates

For more on Pilates, why not take a look at these 10 top Pilates workout videos on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Pilates Is A Great Workout

Why Pilates Is A Great Workout

Photo by Li Sun from Pexels 

Pilates is an incredibly popular form of exercise. It offers an all-round, integrated workout that focuses on core strength, muscle development, balance, and concentration.

It was developed in the early 20th Century by its namesake, Joseph Pilates, and has steadily grown in popularity ever since. Nowadays you can find Pilates classes almost anywhere you go, and with good reason. As the founder himself said,  “[Pilates] develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and evaluates the spirit.”

So let’s take a look at why Pilates is such a great workout.

What is Pilates?

First things first: what exactly is Pilates? In a nutshell, it’s a slow, low-impact exercise method inspired by calisthenics, yoga, and ballet. It has a particular emphasis on strengthening the core, but is aimed at developing all-round fitness and wellbeing.

There are various types of Pilates that require special equipment such as the Reformer and Wunda Chair, but at its most basic level it can be performed with little more than a mat.

According to the Pilates Foundation, Joseph Pilates based his work on three principles: breath, whole-body health, and whole-body commitment. The whole-body, in this instance, referring to mind, body, and spirit.

It’s believed that more than 12 million people practise the method worldwide.

So, now that we’ve covered the what, let’s move on to the why and look at some of the things that make Pilates such a beneficial and popular practise. . .10

It builds strength, not bulk

Pilates is more about developing long lean muscles as opposed to straight bulk. So it’s an excellent choice for those who are looking for tone and not size.

The movements involved in Pilates also place a lot of emphasis on the core, engaging the abdominal muscles and muscles closest to the spine, which helps to build and strengthen the body’s frame.

Essentially, what you’ll develop from Pilates is the sort of functional strength that’s useful for the physical challenges of everyday life.

Increases flexibility and improves posture

When you practise Pilates, you’re working towards increasing muscle length and improved range of joint motion. By achieving this, you may see an improvement in overall flexibility and mobility.

A strong core supports proper alignment, and proper alignment promotes good posture. By training and strengthening the abdominal and lower back muscles, your posture should naturally come into alignment. This is part of the reason why Pilates is often said to help those suffering from back pain.

It can be modified

One of the best reasons to practise Pilates is its accessibility. Many of the moves can be modified to accommodate a broad range of abilities and fitness levels, which means that beginners can jump straight in without feeling overwhelmed.

Setting your own difficulty level means that you can push yourself as and when you feel like it, and if any of the movements become too intense, you can take them down a notch.

Pilates is also a relatively gentle form of exercise. That’s not to suggest that it’s easy. But the fact that many of the movements are performed from a seated or reclining position means that there’s virtually no impact, and very little external strain on the body.

Pilates is good for the mind

Pilates challenges you to focus all of your attention on the movements you’re performing. The slow, flowing nature of the exercises requires unwavering concentration, and the emphasis on proper breathing introduces an element of mindfulness.

So although it can be very physically demanding and challenging, you may just find yourself feeling a little calmer and more focussed after a good Pilates class.