Every Monday and Friday morning I get up at 6.30am. Sometimes it’s easy, most often I’m groaning at the brutal awakening. But I know I’ll feel great once I’m stretching my muscles and training my heart out at bootcamp.
Exercise for physical gain
I reckon I can literally feel the body-toning, cardio-strengthening, stamina-building, metabolism-kicking, immune system-boosting combination of stretching, circuit training, high intensity interval training and relentless exercise of bootcamp making me fitter. The camaraderie is what keeps me coming back when I’m out of energy. The competition is what kicks my ass to the limit, session after session.
Tyler Treece, instructor and founder of Treece Fitness HK, holds bootcamp classes in Hong Kong (and corporate camps in Phuket). “As human beings we’re capable of a lot more than we give ourselves credit for and being pushed to a point you didn’t think you could reach is exhilarating. You’re a little more powerful than you thought you were.”
Key to working out regularly is finding something you love and bootcamps are great for all levels. Also in Hong Kong there’s Circuit25. In Singapore try Fitness Bootcamp Singapore and in Bangkok Fitcorpasia lead bootcamps in the city as well as Weekend Beach Bootcamp events.
Exercise for mental gain
Feeling a little more powerful through moving, what the human body was designed to do after all, has a great effect on our mental capacity.
“The brain is a muscle,” points out Andrew Cox, personal trainer and founder of Innate Fitness. “Exercise increases activity in our frontal lobe, the part that’s responsible for the analytical, logical and rational part of the brain.” He adds that exercise also helps create new brain cells in the hippocampus, our learning and memory centre, while strengthening the networks between cells, and slowing cognitive decline.
Personal trainers give one-on-one training that can ramp up your fitness and enthusiasm super fast. Also check out Alex Poole, who holds personal training in Hong Kong and fitness holidays in Thailand, and if you want the workout without the testosterone check out the personal trainers at Contours Express, a rare women-only gym in KL.
You can also get motivated with wristband gadgets like UP by Jawbone, Nike + Fuel Band and Fitbit, or apps like RunKeeper or TrailBlazer. Look out for our blog on wellness gadgets coming soon…
Exercise for emotional and spiritual gain
Stress, causing excess levels of cortisol, is linked to fat storage around the stomach, while exercise is linked to elevated moods and feeling and looking good.
Combine exercise with a mind-body practice like yoga or Pilates and your moods and appreciation of life sky rocket. “Yoga reflects our clients’ desires to evolve as human beings and to live healthier happier lifestyles, “ says Kostantin Miachin, founder of Vikasa Koh Samui. “Expanding their consciousness, improving their physical shape and overall wellbeing all leads to self-realisation, acceptance of oneself and others and a positive outlook on life.”
Flex Studio in Aberdeen (and Flexpress in Central), Hong Kong, offers yoga, barre and many other great classes. At Absolute Sanctuary in Koh Samui their 3, 5 or 7 day Be Fit program starts with a fitness assessment and includes Muay Thai kick boxing, resistance and cardio training, with daily yoga and time in nature. In Bali the beautiful garden village that is Desa Seni in Canggu has the Village Get Away of 3 nights and the Banjar Break of 5. And if a getaway isn’t possible, doing yoga doesn’t have to cost travel time and money – check out the various types of yoga and basic Pilates on www.doyogawithme.com
“There is no silver bullet, no pill, process or piece of information that will bring you the health and vitality as a species we are capable of. It is the sum of small actions performed on a consistent basis.
Do you want to be able to play with your kids, travel in retirement, be able to maintain and give relationships the energy they deserve?
Exercise, even ten minutes of intense exercise, makes a difference.”
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