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Learn about the most useful sports exercises and techniques to help leave behind all the bad fast food habits. We are all accustomed to starting off the new year with positive thoughts, purpose and good wishes. And even we are not in January anymore and are in April, it’s never too late to start with a sport or exercise routine and change your life routine. According to Amstel Index, a tool that studies conversations and trends in social networks, the most common goals for the new year were those that include the word “leave” (27%): quit smoking, drinking and also those related to body goals (18%): Go to the gym, discover new sports techniques and lose weight after the holidays.
If you are among the people looking to improve your life adopting good habits, here are some exercises that are very fashionable and can motivate you to maintain a healthy routine throughout the year.
Collective fitness classes or functional training are excellent options to help incorporate exercise into your daily routine. A report compiled by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) confirms this via data that it has collected in the past year. To obtain this information the ACSM sent out a questionnaire of 29 questions to more than 2,000 health professionals located in different countries.
The conclusion of these experts dictates that group training is something much more motivating than exercising alone: we get fit, we socialize with others, we strengthen our sense of community and benefit our mental health. Group trainings are not limited to group classes such as Pilates, CrossFit or yoga, they can also be organized for outdoor sports such as running or cycling.
Calisthenics or combined training
Although calisthenics may sound like medicine, it is a relatively simple exercise technique. The modalities of calisthenics exercises consist of combined techniques to achieve a defined and balanced body. Javier González, director of JG Fitness Coaching in Madrid, explains that with calisthenics all muscle chains are activated, so burning calories will be easy. González says that following these basic exercises we will obtain a fit body, where aesthetics and health go hand in hand.
In a circuit of calisthenics exercises we do a bit of everything: push-ups, triceps bottoms, crunches in different positions called “free or with help,” jumping to the drawer to work plyometrics, front and side plates, one leg jumps, free squats, rowing with free weight and TRX, among others.
CrossFit and cross training
High intensity training, such as HIIT, CrossFit and cross training, are among the exercises that the ACSM values as an important trend for this year. CrossFit is a modality that interlaces different physical efforts in an intense and continuous way. The key to CrossFit is variety and functional movements. One of the precepts of the discipline states that, for the body to develop optimally, it must be exposed to constant changes in routine and new exercises that challenge the muscle fibers.
Cross pilates, which is becoming increasingly popular, is another popular exercise that is utilized in CrossFit and cross training. This comprehensive training combines functional strength and endurance exercises to help develop muscle strength, depth and flexibility.
SoulBody: yoga, pilates and dance
Sports techniques that mix different disciplines are of great value to maintain the interest and perseverance of those who wish to succeed. The soulbody, for example, brings together the principles of pilates, yoga exercises and the elegance of dance. This activity modifies routines and choreographies every three months to create a new, more intense and progressive training.
This discipline was created by Stacey Vandiver and Ann Marie Barbour who, with many years of experience in fitness, observed the need to incorporate a more playful physical activity to the gym. According to them, SoulBody adapts to all types of physical conditions and offers unique and dynamic movements with music in one hour of exercise, with main benefits that include working the muscles, improving posture, lifting the buttocks, burning fat, aligning the spine and increasing strength and flexibility. The instructors train all the personnel dedicated to giving these types of classes all over the world, because in addition to being immensely popular in the United States, it is also practiced in Europe, Canada and China.
Heartcore or high intensity
Supermodel Karlie Kloss is just one of the many celebrities who practice Heartcore, a high-intensity workout created by three Californian sisters: Alisa, Valerie and Chrissy Scannell. Heartcore is based on a program of routines performed on a machine called Megaformer that the sisters have patented. The machine uses a system of springs and pulleys to work the whole body with adjustable resistance (up to 291 lbs). The creators say that if CrossFit and Pilates had a baby, it would be called Heartcore. In just 40 minutes, they work each group of muscles one at a time, without rest.
Cultivating the mind and good thinking habits is vital to meeting health goals at the beginning of the year. As a fundamental part of the health routine, “more and more people are taking care of their emotional, mental and spiritual needs,” says Cuban life coach Yoniel García.
In recent years there has been a significant increase in activities aimed at promoting concentration and relaxation of the mind, also known as fitness or yoga of the mind. Traicy Waite, a personal coach from Cornwall, UK, advises on developing a healthy mindset during training and creating good eating habits.
Now that you know these techniques, you have no excuse not to get in shape for 2019, so try these new exercises, learn new habits and above all have fun. ■