Is HIIPA The New HIIT That We Can All Embrace?

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Fitness experts and gyms have been highlighting the benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT) for years now. Short, intense bursts of exercise have been lauded as the most efficient and effective way to get your fitness levels up and squeeze your workout into your weekly schedule. Why spend an hour on the treadmill if a 30 minute HIIT class gets the job done?

Even scientists have come out in favour of HIIT. Not only have studies shown that it can aid weight loss, but a small study revealed it could be more beneficial than traditional cardio exercise if you suffer with heart disease. One study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology even suggested HIIT could help reduce arthritis aches and pain.

Of course, not everyone has been sold on the idea of intense bursts of exercise. In the past, Paddy Ekkekakis, a professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University has argued that HIIT can be so unenjoyable for some people, which puts them off exercising entirely. Ekkekakis argues that motivation is a key reason why a lot of people don’t workout regularly.

“The message of ‘squeezing it in’ perpetuates the idea that exercise is a chore. We want to break down the association of exercise as punishment, as something unpleasant, something to tolerate or a bitter pill you have to swallow,” Ekkekakis told Science Daily. “For example, instead of viewing a bike ride as exercise, we want people to think of it as a chance to enjoy the outdoors or to spend time with family.”

Researchers at the University of Sydney have a similar viewpoint and are now promoting high intensity incidental physical activity (HIIPA). The good news is that most of us do some form of HIIPA every day without realising it. Anything from walking up a flight of stairs to carrying your shopping across the supermarket car park constitutes as HIIPA.

“Regular incidental activity that gets you huffing and puffing even for a few seconds has great promise for health,” says Emmanuel Stamatakis, professor of physical activity, lifestyle and population health at the University of Sydney. “We know from several large studies of middle aged and older adults that doing vigorous exercise has great long-term health benefits, but many people find it very difficult to start and stick to an exercise program.”

Doing two or three bursts of HIIPA a day could be enough to keep you relatively healthy. Fitness expert and founder of AMP Athletic, Steve Mellor is equally as supportive of HIIPA. “Exercise is good in any capacity, we don’t need to go to the gym to do it and getting your heart rate up by going quicker on the stairs, on the street or in the park can be advantageous,” says Mellor. “For me this means increasing overall activity wherever you can through the day. For example; running upstairs, walking up-hill or playing with the kids.”

While the benefits of HIIPA have yet to be studied, it’s safe to say that you can expect to hear a lot more of the term. And, there are two very obvious upsides to HIIPA; it’s free and requires zero skill. What you save on your gym membership could be used for some post-workout pampering with the likes of Better You’s Magnesium Oil Original Flakes or Kneipp’s Arnica Joint & Muscle Massage Oil.

How To Maximise Your Fitness Routine

Exercise Routine

‘Getting fit’ is one of the most popular new year resolutions and it’s also one of the quickest to be broken. While there’s always an onslaught of new and inventive ways to encourage us to workout in January, few of us make it past February before we give up the early morning run or lunchtime gym sessions.

Yet, research continues to highlight the health benefits of working out. Recent research suggests that working out three times or for a total of 100 minutes per week could help reduce your brain age by a whopping 10 years when you pair it with a balanced diet. A study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine also suggested that exercise, including walking, jogging, swimming and cycling, could be just as effective as drugs at lowering blood pressure.

The biggest fitness trends for 2019 are more attuned to our hectic lifestyles and easier to slot in, so whether you’ve got a full hour or just 15 minutes to spare there’s some form of movement that will work for you.

The top fitness trends for 2019

On demand

If you struggle to slot a 45-minute spin class into your schedule twice a week, then it’s worth exploring the world of fitness streaming. Plenty of gyms and instructors offer live streaming sessions or short videos that you can do at-home or from a hotel room if you’re a frequent traveller. ClassPass has recently launched its version of live streaming called ClassPass Live.

Slide and glide

For A-list fitness trainer Dalton Wong, 2019 is all about the glider. Not only does it give you a full body workout, but it’s also low intensity, so you don’t have to worry about putting extra strain on your knees, hips and back. Following the success of his Mini Band Workout last year, Wong has just launched his Glider Workout. ‘It’s designed to improve posture, tone and shape the body, and the workout actively targets the main problem areas – core, hips, thighs, bum, triceps and back – for total body conditioning,’ says Wong. The kit comes complete with two gliders and a 60-page manual that’s packed full of exercise routines. 

Versatile yoga

With self-care, or total wellbeing as it’s being dubbed for 2019, still resonating with most of us, the practice of yoga has become more prominent. Expect to see yoga and meditation hybrid classes rolling out across the country. From restorative yin practices to more vigorous power and flow yoga, the classes are designed to work on a physical and mental level to ensure you switch off and feel fully zen before you step off the mat. 

Functional fitness

It’s a trend that has been around for the past few years, but functional fitness is going to be just as big in 2019 and will be readily available everywhere. Generally speaking, functional fitness is anything that helps improve your balance, coordination and strength to support the movements and motions we do on daily basis without even thinking about them. For example, a squat would fall under the functional category because it strengthens your core and back, which makes bending down in day-to-day life easier.

Team work

Sociable workouts are on the rise. It’s less about solitary sessions on the treadmill and more about coming together as part of a class. Whether it’s a running club or signing up for a group spin class where you’re heart rate is on show and you cycle as a pack to hit a specific target, this year is definitely about working together to reach our fitness goals. 

How can you maximise your exercise routine?

Whether you’re a regular runner, keen cyclist or just about to dip your toe into the world of fitness, here are some tips to get the most out of your workout:

AM or PM

It’s often assumed that exercising in the morning is better for your body as it sets you up for the day ahead. However, if you’re more of a night owl and would rather spend an extra hour in bed, you’ll be pleased to hear that a recent study suggests that it doesn’t matter when you workout. Exercising in the evening won’t affect your ability to fall asleep – especially if it’s a relaxing yoga session.

Stretch it out

Sometimes it’s tempting to skip the last five minutes of your cardio class or not bother to stretch out your muscles after a long run, but pretty much every fitness expert strongly advocates some form of stretching following a workout. Not only does it improve your posture by loosening tight muscles and reduce the risk of injury and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), but stretching will also help calm your mind.

Relax your muscles

If you’re someone that always suffers with DOMS a couple of days after working out, it’s worth booking into a yoga class the following day to help stretch out your muscles and flush out any lactic acid or enlist the help of Magnesium Oil Original Flakes by Better You. A 20 minute soak in the bath with these can help soothe sore, tight muscles and leave you feeling fully relaxed. If you don’t have a bath, it’s worth considering the Magnesium Body Butter, which has the extra benefit of leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth too.

Treat yourself

It’s easy to go into any new exercise routine with the ‘good hard or go home’ mindset, but don’t forget to give yourself some leeway every now and again. ‘Still enjoy the odd beer, wine or your food of choice- it’s not meant to be a miserable process!’ says fitness trainer Matt Roberts.

The Art Of Bathing

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Taking the have a long, hot soak in the tub is seen as a luxury for most of us. But in an era when the saying ‘health is wealth’ rings true, looking after our body from top-to-toe has moved up the priority list. Body care is on the rise, so it’s unsurprising that bathing is making a comeback.

The art of bathing goes back centuries and across the world almost every country has its own ritualistic approach. In Japan, it’s not uncommon to bathe once or twice a day and outdoor communal bathing – also known as rotenburo – is championed by hotels, magazine and even has its own TV programme. Over in Finland, the saying ‘the sauna is the poor man’s apothecary’ still remains prevalent as the country has almost as many saunas as it does inhabitants. It’s strongly believed that sweating it out in a sauna not only provides a full body cleanse, but also helps you to relax. The ritual is usually finished with a roll in the snow too. Read More…

Do You Live In The Most Stressed Out City?

stressed office worked top down view

It is highly likely that at one point or another this week you will feel ‘stressed’. If you’re a male salesperson living in Cardiff your chances are even higher. According to Perkbox, an employee benefit scheme company, the Welsh capital topped the chart with 70 percent of workers saying they’re stressed. Wolverhampton was a close second, followed by London, Coventry and Liverpool.

Around 70 percent of men feel stressed at work, with those aged between 25-34 being the most likely to suffer with work-related stress, compared to one in three women. Finance topped the list in terms of most stressful industries, followed by national and local government and the health sector, while those working in sales and HR departments are likely to bear the brunt. Read More…

Why We’re Not Exercising To Lose Weight Anymore

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Exercising and weight loss have always been intrinsically linked for years, but new research has revealed that more and more women are working out for another reason. According to a recent poll of 2,000 gym goers, we’re hitting the treadmill to lower our blood pressure and cholesterol rather than drop the pounds.

Improving our health has officially become more important than loosening our waistbands. But, it has meant that more of us are being struck down by the next-day aches and pains, and in some cases injuries. The poll showed that women go to the gym around 15 times a month, which works out at three to four times a week. Yet, three fifths of those complained of tiredness and stiff, achy muscles after exercising. Read More…

New Year’s Beauty Resolutions

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It’s that time again. Clean-sheet-of-paper time. The wonderful ‘fresh start’ moment. But while some New Year’s Resolutions are just too hard to stick to (or just too ambitious) – lose two stone, go to the gym three times a week, climb Kilimanjaro etc. (you know the sort of thing) – I honestly believe there are, however, small health-and-beauty shifts that will make big differences to how we look (and feel). So here are my recommendations – in no particular order – for simple resolutions that will genuinely, seriously improve your wellbeing and looks, over the next year. (I’d offer a money-back guarantee, if I could…!)

And all that’s left is for me to say: have a beautiful 2012… Read More…