Finding a fitness routine that fits my lifestyle, budget, and schedule has always been challenging. As a young adult it seemed I could go dancing on the weekends and stay in shape. Those days are long gone!
With a busy work schedule and family demands aside, I went in search for a sustainable workout routine that targeted my fitness goals without breaking the bank.
To my delight, I found three distinct forms of exercise and fitness that promised to get me in shape while making for an exciting experience each time.
My first form of exercise was to simply start walking! Yes, I know we’ve all heard it before, something as simple as walking for 2-3 miles per day can help burn 210 – 360 calories. Walking a 5k, or 3.1 miles, five days a week can burn 1,050 to 1,800 calories - with no change in diet you would lose ⅓ of a pound (0.15 kg) to ½ of a pound (0.22 kg) of fat per week.
To some health enthusiasts that may seem like a small amount of weight loss, but gradual weight loss exercise best suits most beginners, and on-and-off again gym-goers.
I also found that walking did wonders for my mental health. On my walks, I enjoyed the sights and sounds of my surroundings: the birds chirping, the clouds in the sky, and the sound of sprinklers watering the grass, all making my walk even more experiential. On other walks, I enjoyed listening to soft music or an inspirational/motivational podcast.
As my fitness quest continued, I signed up for an introductory class at Pilates of Wellington. Known for its low impact yet strengthening effects, Pilates seemed like another great way to get into shape without worrying about weather conditions. I took a 20-minute trial class to start. It was me and four other women ranging in age, working out on our individual Pilate reformers.
What I found fascinating about the class is how, although I spent most of my time on my back, I could feel the exercises working. I understood how body weight, resistance, repetition, and controlled movements could help shape the body. Darby Diaz, General Manager of Club Pilates Wellington, said, “Pilates is a low-impact, full-body based workout that offers a multitude of benefits including core strength, improved flexibility, and posture, which can alleviate back pain and promote better body alignment. Pilates also fosters mindfulness through its focus on controlled movements and breath, which can reduce stress and enhance mental clarity. Overall, Pilates can challenge your mind as well as your body!”
And I believe she’s right. While I followed our instructor’s guidance, I focused on my core, the feeling of my muscles stretching and contracting, and my breathing- another essential part of any workout. While Pilates can benefit every body type, it can also help prevent injuries or help those recover from injury. “Pilates can be tailored to meet the needs and abilities of each person making it safe and accessible for beginners seeking to improve their health and well-being.” Diaz said.
After our short but beneficial trial class, I was hooked! Pilates may very well be the fitness routine I’ve been looking for!
That was until i discovered BODY20 -a workout like nothing I’ve ever experienced in fitness. From the modern design of their studio to the technology of their equipment, BODY20 seemed like a fitness of the future.
Skeptical, yet excited to try their state-of-the-art equipment that looked readily made for James Bond or Ironman, I strapped into a vest of electro pads with two straps around each bicep. “We’ll start with the arm demo,” said my very fit instructor as she handed me stress balls to squeeze in each hand and turned on the machine my vest would hook up to.
EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation) has been around for years overseas but is new to the U.S.. Excited to experience my BODY20 workout, I was made aware very quickly, how effective this exercise could be.
Turning the EMS machine up to level 3, a fairly low level for beginners like myself, I felt my biceps contract simultaneously like never before. Surprised by the stimulation I couldn't help but say, "Holy S***!
If you've never experienced EMS or used a TENS machine, imagine an electrical current running through your muscle; not painful, but an experience 'd soon not forget.
More surprising is that BODY20 technology only requires a limited amount of time at the gym than most other workouts.
"Being able to get a 20-minute technology-driven workout twice a week is life-changing for busy moms or busy professionals, "said Director of Fitness, Sydney Yeomans. "BODY20 also is great to compliment with other workouts, as it activates muscles we cannot activate in a normal workout."
Compared with other technological exercise equipment, BODY20 offers a full-body workout in just 20 minutes. During that 20 minutes one will receive up to 36,000 muscle contractions, Yeomans said, adding that because of its low-impact, there is less strain on the joints and ligaments while giving up to 90% of muscle recruitment.
Health Enthusiasts must be 18 years or older to experience a BODY20 workout. "Every workout is tailored to you and your individual needs. However, we do have some contraindications that, if they pertain to you, we highly recommend you not participate in BODY20 workouts," Yeomans said.
But can such an intense fitness regimen be performed daily? How much rest is needed in between workouts?
"At BODY20 we offer strength and cardio workouts. Our strength workouts can be completed every 5 days and our cardio workouts can be paired with our strength workouts each week with 48 hours in between the sessions. Therefore clients can safely complete a BODY20 workout twice a week."
A bi-weekly effective workout that targets muscles, sounds perfect for busy professionals who feel that their work/home schedules are too chaotic to fit in a quick workout.
All three forms of exercise, unique and beneficial unto itself making it that much harder to choose which would be the right one for me. Perhaps all three are right!