When the COVID pandemic started and we decided to work from home, most people also lost the opportunity to include exercise into their daily lives. For some, biking to work is not an option anymore, the gyms closed and weekend hikes vanished from our schedules. Luckily, a lot of online classes emerged, offering a great way to get some movement in and create some sort of daily/weekly routine.
For me, personally, it was challenging as I need movement to function properly. With no Volleyball to blow off steam, I signed up for as many online classes as I could to replicate the types of HIIT workouts I used to do before the lockdown, besides also teaching a few of them at Eastside Fitness. After a while, I felt burned out. Stress is a funny thing - you think you can combat it with movement but the wrong type - at the wrong time - can actually make it worse.
After about the third week at home, I felt absolutely drained and it didn't make sense to me at all. I was technically working out less!
I quickly realized that my cortisol levels must be off the charts and I started shifting to different types classes which were more focused on low impact moves - and it worked!
When we go through a phase of mental stress, our cortisol levels rise as a fight-or-flight response and the same thing unfortunately happens when we work out at high intensity. Given all the uncertainty of COVID, my brain was already in alert-mode and adding high intensity workouts didn't help. Once I shifted to HILIT (high intensity low impact training), I started to feel better. I was still moving but without all the jumping and impact that will put additional stress on my system.
Don't get me wrong - HIIT workouts (which I also teach) are a great way to move your body after long hours sitting at an office desk - and if they still work for you, that's excellent. However, if you have noticed something similar or are currently suffering from a lot of stress, keep this in mind and maybe modify exercises, if need be.
Listen to your body!
Contact me if you would like some help with modifications.
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Health and Fitness have always played an important role in my life.