Rest, exercise and work should all be in good balance. Exercise is very important, but too much or too heavy exercise could be harmful. It is important to enjoy exercise and find a form of exercise that you like doing and relax with. For me, I enjoy best my regular walks in the nature, together with high intensity interval training and yoga.
High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT
We have found HIIT extremely effective form of exercise in my family. We don’t go to a gym to do this on a treadmill, but do it during our walks in the nature. You automatically go through different terrains and hills, which adds benefits to our exercise.
The idea of HIIT is to repeat a certain movement with a different intensity, with a slow movement to begin with, followed by short period of intense, fast exercise, such as sprinting. You start with walking and during the fast interval, continue with maximum speed or weight, only for 20-30 seconds. After that you return to walking again to calm your pulse and breathing. You can do as many fast intervals during your exercise as you can, but the duration of a single exercise should not exceed 15-20 minutes. The reason for this is that the stress levels, cortisol, starts to elevate if the exercise continues for too long. I normally do my HIIT training during a walk. I have learned to repeat a fast 30 second interval every other minute, when I run with my maximum speed. This is a short, but very effective exercise. The metabolic rate is very high for hours after exercise. HIIT should not be done more than twice a week, to maximise the benefits. Rest is just as important as exercise in HIIT and too much training will undo the benefits.
For maximum benefits you can combine HIIT with strength training, pull ups, push ups, squats and planks.
I don’t like gyms, so the only indoor exercise that I currently do is yoga. I am only learning it as I have just recently found it, but I can say that yin yoga in particular is such a lovely and calming form of exercise and meditation and has helped me manage stress and hectic lifestyle very much. As oppose to other types of yoga, all good in different ways, yin specifically calms the mind, relaxes and stretches the body. It helps to increase flexibility and strength and increases your energy levels. It is the perfect way to relax in the middle of our busy lives which is why I recommend it to many of my patients.