Think you have to perform tree pose to find mindfulness in movement? Think again. A trauma-informed personal trainer shares her journey to healing through strength training, and how to make exercise work for your mental health.
Creating healthy exercise habits is the secret to getting fit for life, but being a habitual exerciser doesn't always deliver the best results. Fitness authority Bevan James Eyles says identifying the type of exerciser you are will help you ramp up the return on your exercise efforts.
Emma Hogan (EH): You’ve spent 20+ years working in gyms, you train high-performance athletes and you’ve taught thousands of group fitness classes. Tell us about the four types of exerciser …
Bevan James Eyles (BJE): Firstly, there is the non-exerciser, which is pretty self-explanatory. It’s not that these people haven’t tried to exercise, they’ve just been unsuccessful so they’ve given up. The yo-yo exerciser is someone who consistently has moments of exercise in their life and then they fall away from it. Over time they can fall into becoming a non-exerciser. The habit exerciser is in a good place and exercising regularly, but often they’re just ticking the exercise box. Doing the same activities week in and out, they aren’t making any gains and getting all the value from exercise that they could be. The thriver is someone who is getting the most from exercise – whether it be the physical results they get, the personal growth, the psychological benefits and the social aspects.
EH: Being a thriver and enjoying all the benefits of exercise sounds like the place to be. Should we all aim to hit the thrive zone?
BJE: If you’re not exercising or you’re a yo-yo exerciser, you need to first become a habit person and start working out consistently. Then, when you’re a habit exerciser, you need to be looking for opportunities to move into the thrive zone.
“If you’re not experiencing that thriving feeling, you’re missing out on some of the best benefits that exercise has to offer.”
EH: Experts say creating a habit of exercise is the #1 secret to success. Isn’t consistency king?
BJE: Yes, of course! Having a habit of regular exercise is a good thing, it means you’re keeping fit and healthy – which is fantastic. If you’re happy in the habit zone, stay there. But maybe once or twice a year, throw in a few ways to challenge yourself. Why? Because it just feels so good! Challenging yourself will take you into the thrive zone, and when you’re thriving, it’s so motivating and stimulating. I really feel that if you’re not experiencing that thriving feeling you’re missing out on some of the best benefits that exercise has to offer.
EH: How do we know when it’s a good time to push ourselves into the thrive zone?
BJE: It’s only through reflection that you can find a better path forward – and often habit exercisers stop reflecting on their journey. Wherever you’re at, I encourage you to delve deep and ask yourself some hard questions: Am I getting everything I want out of exercise? Am I actually achieving the results that I desire from the time I spend exercising? And, what am I doing that’s keeping me in a place that’s afraid to grow.
Of course, you have to be honest with yourself. If your life is extremely busy and you just don’t have time to commit to that next level of exercise, then you’ve just got to accept that that’s a time to stay in that habit zone of exercise.
ASK YOURSELF SOME TOUGH QUESTIONS
- Am I getting everything I want out of exercise?
- Am I actually achieving the results that I desire from the time I spend exercising?
- What am I doing that’s keeping me in a place that’s afraid to grow?
EH: What are the steps you need to take to thrive?
BJE: It starts with self-assessment. Determining where you want to grow is key, it could be physically, psychologically, socially … Then once you know where you want to grow, you need to put a challenge in front of yourself. Nothing too ambitious, it’s important to be realistic. Running a marathon is one of the most obvious and common challenges, but it’s not for everyone. You could challenge yourself to do 20 group fitness classes in a month. Or challenge yourself to try a different type of movement – perhaps doing every type of LES MILLS workout in a month? While it doesn't need to be overly ambitious, it must be a goal you'll feel proud to achieve. When you tick it off, you want to feel like you've won the lottery.”
EXPLORE WAYS TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF
- Run a marathon (or half marathon)
- Do 20 group fitness classes within a month
- Explore new exercise options and try every different LES MILLS workout within a month
- Add a social element to your exercise by organizing an adventure weekend away with friends
EH: So thriving clearly feels amazing. Can we strive for too much of a good thing?
BJE: It’s pretty impossible to be thriving 100% of the time. Ideally, you want a 70/30 split where you're thriving most of the time but you often pull back to a baseline level of activity. Identifying this baseline level of activity is really important. If you’re consciously aware of the minimum standard you are happy with, this baseline acts as an alarm bell that goes off when you start to slip off track.
Keeping your baseline behaviors front of mind will ensure you don’t peak and then slip back down to the bottom. This is the biggest mistake many on a weight loss journey make – they don't identify a minimum standard of habit behaviors, so they eventually drift back to where they were at the beginning.
EH: You say one of the best things anyone can do in life is to invest in a mentor. Why is this?
BJE: If you want to grow, working with a mentor is one of the fastest ways to do it. One of the biggest mistakes we humans make is to think we can do it all ourselves. On any new journey, if you’re going it alone you don’t know the hurdles you’re going to face and you don’t know how to overcome them. When you have a mentor who has been in your shoes and helped others in your shoes, they will show you the hurdles and give you the strategies to overcome them. It’s the fastest way to make your journey a success.
Bevan James Eyles is a New Zealand-based fitness industry leader, group fitness instructor and regular presenter on LES MILLS releases. He has completed eight Ironmans, run numerous marathons and half marathons, and now coaches everyone from elite athletes to beginner exercisers on how to smash their goals.
Article originally published here - https://www.lesmills.com/fit-planet/health/4-types-of-exerciser/
Discover the exercise prescription that will help you enjoy more minutes of sleep each night, and add more years of good health to your life.
Resistance training is a winner when it comes to increasing strength, enhancing muscle tone, improving bone health and leaving you feeling fit, strong and powerful. And that’s just the beginning. We now have more evidence that strength-based exercise adds value in other surprising – but extremely important – ways.
HOW STRENGTH TRAINING IMPROVES SLEEP
In a recent study, scientists have found that by including strength training in your workout routine you can add up to 40 minutes more sleep each night– 17 minutes more than you get from simply doing aerobic exercise.
The time you spend building strength you win back in sleep – and then some!
Over a week, three hours of strength training can lead to over 4.5 hours of extra sleep. So the time you spend building strength you win back in sleep – and then some!
On average, study participants in the resistance exercise group shaved 20 minutes off the time they spent lying awake each night. They reported falling asleep three minutes earlier on average than those who were doing either no exercise, aerobic exercise, or a blend of resistance and aerobic exercise.
These findings fly in the face of common recommendations that insomniacs or anyone struggling with sleep deprivation should add more aerobic activity to their day. “While both aerobic and resistance exercise are important for overall health, our results suggest that resistance exercises may be superior when it comes to getting better z's at night,” comments lead researcher Angelique Brellenthin, from Iowa State University.
The resistance exercise group shaved 20 minutes off the time they spent lying awake each night.
Even just one night of bad sleep can be dangerous
New research reveals all it takes is one night of poor sleep (less than six hours slumber) to significantly harm mental and physical wellbeing. If you have six consecutive nights of poor sleep, you can suffer severe emotional and physical issues such as body aches, gastrointestinal issues and respiratory problems.
HOW STRENGTH TRAINING CUTS THE RISK OF EARLY DEATH
But it's not just longer nights, a longer life is also on the cards when you dial up your strength-building efforts.
We’ve long known resistance training can help lower the risk of death, but there’s been scant evidence showing how much strength training you actually need. Now, thanks to a global analysis of 16 individual studies conducted over the past three decades, we can reveal the answer.
As little as 30 – 60 minutes of muscle-strengthening activity each week can help reduce your risk of dying by up to a fifth. Strength training alone is linked to a 10% to 20% lower risk of death from all causes, heart disease and cancer. However, the maximum life-lengthening benefit comes when you combine muscle strengthening and aerobic activities. This combination is linked to an even greater reduction in risk of death from any cause (40%), heart disease (46%), and cancer (28%).
Interestingly, ramping up your strength training to the extreme won’t necessarily pay off. Research shows doing more than 60 minutes of resistance exercise a week doesn’t lead to an increase in the life-lengthening benefits.
Bryce Hastings, Les Mills Head of Research, says that given the numerous stressors of modern life and the prevalence of insomnia, these findings couldn't come at a better time. “It simply highlights the breadth of benefits that come from a well-balanced exercise regime.” He recommends a weekly routine of two resistance exercise training sessions focusing on the major muscle groups, with three to four cardio sessions and one flexibility and mobility-based session as the ideal prescription.
Article originally published here - https://www.lesmills.com/fit-planet/health/strength-and-sleep/
You can spice up your squat training, build a stronger core, increase lower body strength,and improve posture. Simply switch up your squat style and add front-loaded squats into the mix.
Be more creative, improve focus, lessen anxiety, sleep better, and curb dementia risk. Sound too good to be true? Canadian neuroscientist Dr. Jennifer Heisz has unearthed the one type of training that delivers maximum neurological benefit – and has mapped how different types of exercise nurture our minds in different ways.
Restrictive diets don't’ work… so what should you do instead?
Find out how you can change the way you eat and make it 12 months down the track with results to show. Evidence has shown for decades that diets don’t work.
Most of us know it, and science has shown it time and again: most people who go on a diet will eventually gain back the weight lost, and very likely more.
Topics: Healthy eating
Employ these expert tactics and you can inspire any motivation-lacking loved ones to embark on a healthy new routine that will leave them feeling fitter, healthier and happier.
Kylie Gates has spent her 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s immersed in the fitness industry. In this candid interview she shares her secrets to aging with positivity, balance and a passion for fitness.