Remember when HIIT was what everyone in the fitness world spoke about? It was this ‘miracle workout’, the fastest method of weight loss. The best way to lose belly fat, increase fitness and get results. We totally got swept away by the HIIT craze (obviously, as we were neck-deep in diet culture) but we also got over it faster than the rest of the world.
We got over it pretty fast because, from our rigorous HIIT workouts and limited caloric diets, we made ourselves sick. We each lost our periods and created a hormonal mess. We got to our goal weight but had no energy or zest for life. We were constantly tired and our lives were oriented around ticking off the workouts, counting calories and feeling excited when we lost weight and anxious when we didn’t.
Our physical and mental health really suffered throughout this experience. However, we did learn a lot (and it led us to create MerryBody). From all of this, it became clear that the number on the scales was not the only definer of health, and that exercise can be extremely damaging.
After the whole experience, we slowed down our exercise and we began the (quite lengthy) journey of quitting dieting for good.
This is why we don’t use weight loss as a success-measuring tool. With our MerryBody program, we don’t ask for your goal weight, we don’t share before and afters and we don’t stress if you skip a workout.
This doesn’t mean we are ‘anti-weight loss’ we just believe that there are far more important health indicators. Like… how you feel, in your mind and body.
What Is The Best Workout For Your Health
We’ll add a disclaimer here and remind you that these are our opinions. Opinions from our experience and our own research.
The one that doesn’t stress you out!
It’s time to swap the HIIT for LIT. Welcome to the low-intensity workout! Ahhh, we feel better already. This is the workout that you really look forward to, it’s the one you enjoy and you feel absolutely rejuvenated after.
It’s a workout that doesn’t trigger your stress response, it doesn’t put you into your Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and pump your cortisol. Don’t get us wrong, we need the SNS, we need this natural stress response! But many of us are living in continuous stress mode. Whether you’re working in a high-pressure job, have kids, ticking off a million errands, building a business or/and living in a stressful city (hello traffic!), most likely the last thing you need on a Monday morning is an intense workout!
It’s also interesting to point out that an over-activation of cortisol can actually lead to weight gain and fatigue. We’ve interviewed countless Naturopaths and Doctors and they’ve all recommended that a slower pace workout can be the most beneficial for overall health.
Plus, if you’re working your body too hard this can lead to injury. But it’s not just HIIT that leads to injury, many Yoga and Pilates movements are renowned for causing injuries as well (hello headstands and roll-ups!). Tune into YOU and be aware of how particular moves feel for YOUR body. This is why inside MerryBody the Yoga and Pilates movements we teach are functional and accessible.
Try this instead of HIIT
Go for a walk
We know, talk about innovation! We love walking, we walk along the beach at least 3-4 times per week. Walk, slow, fast or a mixture of both. Walk in nature for bonus de-stressing points.
There is a reason why our MerryBody Members love their Yin Classes. A 30-minute Yin Yoga Class will completely change how you feel. The practice of Yin Yoga triggers the Parasympathetic Nervous System (opposite of SNS) and this is where you feel relaxed, where your digestion can function properly and your heart rate and blood pressure slow.
Yoga and Pilates
Although Yoga and Pilates can trigger your stress response, the focus on the breath helps to welcome a sense of calm and gets you present. Often stress can come from thoughts of the past and future. Yoga and Pilates create mindfulness so you can be more aware of these thoughts when they take over. Slow Flow Yoga and Slow Burn Pilates are usually on offer at most Studios. You can find many slower classes inside the MerryBody App.
Something that makes you happy!
MerryBody is built on 2 core values, Joy and Self Acceptance. This is why we always say, find the method of movement that you love! For us it’s Yoga and Pilates, for you it might be dancing, hiking, surfing, swimming or jogging. Exercise does not need to be a chore, it can be something you genuinely love and look forward to.
And yes, if you really do enjoy HIIT, keep doing it… but perhaps mix it up with some slower-paced workouts too.
Add meditation to your routine
Not exactly a workout for the body but wow it will help your body and mind feel amazing. It can be difficult to start a practice, we recommend that you begin with a guided meditation. Here’s one of our guided Meditations, it’s called Embody, at just 9 minutes long it’s easy to pop into your schedule, tune in and prepare for bliss.
Alright enough reading, it’s time for you to try a workout! This MerryBody Class is specifically designed to release your stress. It’s a mix of Yoga and Pilates along with Breathwork. Try it out and let us know what you think!
If you loved the class, then your next step is to try out MerryBody with a free 7 Day Trial OVER HERE.
Emma + Carla