How to best prepare and cool down from a HIIT workout

How to best prepare and cool down from a HIIT workout

When it comes to getting the most out of your High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, you may be surprised to find that a large component to your workout success lies in your preparation and cooldown before and after your workout, not just the workout itself.

In order to prepare yourself for your best burn yet as well as help you cool down so you don’t get too sore that you lose momentum, here are our top tips on getting the most of your HIIT training. 

Pre-workout

Choose the right energy source:

If you’re on a prescribed exercise plan and supplements are a part of your transformation, be sure to time your consumption accordingly prior to your workout. Weight loss shakes and supplemented drinks (like carnitine in water) may need to be consumed 30 minutes prior to workout to avoid cramps or the sluggishness that comes with a full belly. Recommended carbs or meals will also need to be scheduled accordingly. 

Dress appropriately:

HIIT workouts require a level of agility and limberness. You won’t feel agile with layers and layers of baggy clothing getting in the way. Be sure to dress appropriately for your workout without having any unnecessary layers hindering your movement. You won’t have to go out and buy a brand new activewear wardrobe but you will need to consider what gym wear will suit your type of workout. 

Pre workout stretch:  

This is perhaps the most crucial component of all. HIIT workouts are just that: high intensity! You’ll need to ensure that you avoid injuries or extreme soreness by stretching every muscle beforehand. From your legs to arms to those pesky muscles you didn’t know existed, aim to stretch your whole body beforehand to avoid regretting it later on.

Post Workout

Post workout stretch 

Once again, an additional stretch after a hard workout will help you avoid those savage “DOMS” and make sure you can walk down stairs relatively normally after a tough leg day. Stretching will also help you lean out your muscles so that they don’t bulk up and also relax your body from any lingering tension. 

Help assist muscle regeneration 

Once your hardcore workout is done and dusted, you’ll need some recovery food to help with your muscle regeneration. If you haven’t received guidance in this particular area from a specialist, a great start is consuming grapes right after your workout, and of course drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. 

Get in touch for more HIIT insights

These are just some of the things you can do to ensure that you’re fully prepared for your workout as well as fully cooled down to heal the body after strenuous exercise. We here at Pinnacle Health are dedicated to empowering our clients to face their fitness challenges head on and achieve the results they envision.

If you want to find out more info about the best means of prepping the body as well as the best exercises for effective weight loss and overall fitness, get in touch with our team today and we’ll get you on your way to your transformation. 

How To Reset Your Fitness Goals

CHANGE. It’s the word we hear all the time at the moment as our world is changing around us. When this happens, we can sometimes feel a little lost as our goals that we were tracking along well to earlier in the year, now feel unattainable. It’s important that we acknowledge that this can happen at any time in our lives, as our priorities change or as road bumps in life come along and make us change our focus.

So how do we positively re-set our goals without feeling like we have failed?

Accept the uncontrollable

 As human beings, we like to feel in control of our lives when in reality, there are a lot of actions, events and decisions that happen every day that are completely out of our control. Maybe we get injured or need to care for a loved one and don’t have the same time as before. Accept that this happens, and it doesn’t mean that you have failed, it just means we need to reset the goals we had. Change your focus to what aspects in your life CAN you control?

Set small realistic goals

Rather than creating a new goal to run a marathon in a month, break down your end goal into smaller, more manageable goals that you can have the satisfaction of ticking off as you achieve them. Write these down and tell your family about them as well to make you feel more accountable.

Write down your ‘why’

When you are writing down your goals, make sure you also write down your ‘why’. Writing down your reason why you want to achieve your goals will help you prioritise how important they really are to you. Try to choose a reason that is more than ‘ I want to lose 5kg’ and choose a goal based on your personal values. Maybe you want to be a better role model for your children? Or live longer and avoid getting heart disease or diabetes. These goals hold more weight and will help you stay on track when motivation starts to lag.

When it comes time to reset your goals, it will be easier to re-prioritise and focus on the goals that mean the most to you personally.

Do you need help re-setting your goals? Chat to our team today to see how we can help you.

How to Ease Back into Your Fitness Routine

It’s been 3 months since our doors closed and it’s been a tough and sudden shift of routine for many of us. The combination of being at home more, gym closures plus the onset of winter, it’s not a surprise that 44% of people say they are less active that they were before COVID-19.

So you are not alone! We are all feeling the struggles of getting back into a new routine and re-thinking what that even looks like now vs before. Here are our top tips when it comes to easing back into a fitness routine to help keep your motivation high, develop habits to train consistently and most of all, enjoy exercise and the feeling of getting fitter and stronger.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Sometimes we can be really tough on ourselves if we gain extra weight, lose motivation or fitness. Setting high expectations on ourselves can add a lot of unnecessary pressure.

Allow yourself to accept your current situation and use this to help set long term sustainable goals. Remember that we all struggle at times and it’s okay to lose motivation and energy at times. The most important thing is picking yourself back up again and keep going.

Don’t go too fast too soon

When that motivation comes, it can come hard and fast! The importance of going from a low amount of exercise back into training is not to overdo it at the beginning. Pace yourself, improve a little more each week so that you have the energy and the recovery time to keep training consistently rather than hard every day.

Find the balance of training styles

The beauty of starting a new routine is that you can maybe try something you haven’t done before. Why not? It’s time to start something new! Look at finding the right balance of training to suit your goals physically but also mentally. Having a mixture of higher intensity classes like HIIT training and lower impact such as Pilates or Yoga will mean you will stay engaged in the variety and your body and mind will benefit too.

Ask for help if you need it

You don’t have to start a new routine on your own. Whether you choose to start something new with a friend or a family member to keep each other accountable or you are looking for more experienced support in a coach. Find the support that you need to find what you love and most important enjoy exercising.

If you are looking to try a new style of training or needing a little extra motivation as you get back into your routine, chat to our team about your goals and we can help find the right program for you.

Yoga Moves To Relieve Work Stress

With government-legislated quarantine still dictating our movements, many companies have opted to have their employees work from home (WFH). This action should be commended as it keeps everyday Australians safe and helps people stay employed despite the current circumstances. However, for those who are working from home, the new routine and lack of proper office equipment may take a significant toll on your muscles. Make your home office a makeshift yoga studio! 

Here are some yoga stretches that we recommend to relieve bodily stress and brighten the mind for work.

The crescent moon pose

A simple one to start you off. Remain seated and clasp your hands together. Lift your arms as far up into the air as possible and then take turns leaning towards the right or the left, moving slowly. This will help lengthen the spine and provide relief to muscles on either side of the body. 

The figure 4 stretch

While seated in an upright position, rest your right foot on your left knee as if you’re crossing your legs loosely. Next, slowly use your right hand to press down on the right knee towards the ground, creating a stretch that you’ll feel in the back of your right hip and buttock. Long distance runners use this stretch for muscle relief around the lower back area. 

The desk downward dog 

This motion is much akin to the downward dog stretch that you perform on the floor. Stand a meter away from your desk and bend over into a 90 degree angle, with hands resting on top of the desk. Then, use your weight to push forward and upward into the signature back stretch. It’s extremely important that your desk or table is secured against a wall in order to support your weight. If not, perhaps just stick to a regular downward dog on the floor.

Seated twist

While seated, maintain an upright position with both feet flat on the floor. Next, slowly twist your upper body to the right and take three deep breaths. Repeat this motion on the other side ensuring that your upper body is the only thing twisting. Keeping your feet flat on the floor will help you maintain your balance. Be sure to do this movement slowly and don’t twist further than what is comfortable. The gentler the movement, the better. 

Neck Release

Standing up with legs apart, take your right hand and place it over your head, resting your hand on the left side of your face. Then, slowly press your head down enough until you can feel a light stretch on the left side of the neck. Repeat this for the other side. This is a great means of relaxing tension in the neck and upper back after sitting down and staring at your computer all day.

If you’ve given these stretches a shot and are keen to take your stretches and overall tranquility to the next level, get in touch with the team and Pinnacle Health Club today! With our daily live yoga and meditation classes, you’ll no doubt find the perfect class to suit your fitness needs from the comfort of your own home! 

The Benefits of Doing Yoga During Quarantine

The world is changing, to say the least! With government-legislated quarantine regulations seeing more Australians spending time at home, we think it’s safe to say that the last few months have been challenging – both emotionally and physically. Fitness regimes have also been forced to change. But although you can’t visit us at the studio, we here at Pinnacle Health Club are dedicated to ensuring the studio comes to you and the exercise type we’re particularly encouraging all our clients to do at home is yoga. 

Here’s why.

Yoga keeps you fit

Much like other forms of exercise we specialise in at Pinnacle, yoga is an excellent way to tone the body and improve your overall physical health. This centuries-old method takes a holistic approach to your health, aiming to create balance between the body and mind. 

With minimal impact on the body, yoga is a great way to strengthen and stretch the muscles without damaging or exacerbating any sensitive joint issues. It can also help build up a burn to encourage weight loss, so don’t be fooled by the chill vibes that yogis give off. Yoga can be as challenging as you want it to be!

Continued practice will lead to better technique, making it great for increasing flexibility and strengthening muscles with extended use.

It doesn’t require much equipment 

Another great reason to try to get basic yoga into your isolation workouts is the minimal equipment necessary. While most classes are undertaken with a foam mat, you can always opt for a beach towel as an alternative. If your floors are slippery, we think it’s a good idea to place your makeshift towel/mat on the carpet for better grip. 

You can even up the ante with a resistance band to work the muscles a little harder (however this isn’t a requirement, or recommended for beginners mastering the art of yoga.)

Yoga is great for mindfulness meditation

In this particularly challenging time where uncertainty is rife and you can’t seem to see an end in sight to all the madness, yoga can be extremely helpful in helping to quiet down the mind and release any mental and emotional stress you may be feeling. 

Mindfulness meditation is a practice of focusing the mind on the here and now, which usually means honing all your concentration into the task at hand. The more you focus on your current task, the less room there is for things like fear of the future or past regrets to have a stranglehold on you through the day. 

While intense physical activity will always have its place (and the wonderful endorphins that come after), yoga focuses more so on slowing down the body and mind to achieve harmony between the two. 

We offer a whole host of yoga and meditation classes that’ll strengthen the body and brighten the soul. If you’re keen to see how you can start your yoga journey and gain a little peace of mind, contact us today!

The Importance of Staying Active And Connected For The Elderly

With many of us now in self isolation during COVID-19, we are all experiencing feelings of loneliness, frustration and the impacts of not seeing our family and friends. For the most vulnerable in our communities, these feelings can have even more of an impact as they are told to stay indoors and limit their contact with others. The daily routine that they once knew of going down to the shops, meeting friends for a gym class and having the grandkids over has all been taken away. For many seniors, their daily social connections and routine plays a large part of their overall health & wellbeing and they now find themselves with limited contact with for long periods of time.

We speak from experience in seeing the seniors communities in our clubs prior to COVID. The most important part of their daily gym classes is the social engagement and fun that they have with likeminded people. For many, they come to their daily classes to laugh, have fun and chat with others and continue the chats long past the class finishing! Having this taken away can increase the risk of developing mental health concerns such as depression and loneliness.

We can’t forget about the physical benefits of keeping up an exercise routine as we age. Studies have shown that older people who regularly exercise live longer and also:

    • Reduces risk of developing diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
    • Improves immune system function.
    • Increases mobility & balance to reduce risk of falls.
    • Improves bone density.

Showing our parents, grandparents and neighbours how to use technology such as FaceTime and Zoom is a great way to help them stay connected and confident in calling friends and family for the much needed catch up.

Checking in to see if they need you to collect anything from the shops or even making some extra meals or sweat treats and dropping them at their doorstep all help us stay close and comforted in the fact that they are not alone and have a supportive group of family and friends available to help.

Pinnacle is also running complimentary seniors classes at 11am every day via Zoom to bring likeminded people together for a bit of movement and a chat to help create that daily routine they need and encourage exercise. If you or a family member would like to register for this, find out more info here

Staying Connected with the Ones you Love is Critical to Maintain Mental Health During this Pandemic

In the past few weeks, the reality for many has changed drastically. Forced to adapt to a new normal, people across Australia are finding themselves struggling to wrap their heads around the current pandemic we are all facing today. As new laws and regulations continue to prohibit gatherings of people, getting together with friends and family has become increasingly more challenging.

Studies conducted by the Department of Health show that healthy relationships with friends, family or even a pet can help reduce anxiety levels and depression while at the same time raising one’s self-esteem. With so much negativity surrounding day-to-day activities and the media today, doing everything we possibly can to feel connected to the ones we love is more important now than ever.

Pick up the phone

Technology has changed the way we interact with each other. In the early 2000s, social media was infantile with very few users indulging worldwide. Fast-forward twenty years, this has become one of the main forms of communication, especially for millenials. During these uncertain times, texting just isn’t enough to settle the mind. 

As the feelings of isolation and loneliness continue to settle in, be proactive in your approach to combat these troublesome ideas. Pick up the phone and talk to someone. Instead of spending your days scrolling through your Instagram feed, Facetime your mum or call your grandma. The easiest way to feel connected to those you love is reaching out and making an effort.

Ask if they’re okay

You may be surprised that when reaching out, you begin to realise other people are feeling the same way you do. As the situation continues to evolve, people across the world are struggling with the idea that there is no end in sight. Being trapped at home only amplifies these concerns and it can be hard to fathom on your own.

Ask the ones you love if they’re okay, and understand that while you may be having a hard time coping, they most likely are too. In these uncertain times, encouragement is monumental. Do everything you possibly can to ensure your friends and family understand that you are there to support them too.  

Plan virtual activities

While open and honest conversations are important to have, you can take your Facetime one step further by getting active online. Plan fun activities with your family and friends, whether it’s a virtual workout or a game of chess, exercising physically and mentally is one of the easiest ways to adapt to this new and unusual situation.

Interested in joining a virtual online community? Pinnacle Health Club is ensuring that those daily interactions you normally have in your gym class are still there for you from home, as we know how important that smile, high five and well done from your coach is after a tiring workout. Our online community is filled with likeminded people looking for motivation, inspiration and encouragement to keep up their health and fitness.

 

5 Ways to Boost your Immunity During the Coronavirus Outbreak

As more and more cases of coronavirus continue to pop up around the globe, you may be wondering: how can I boost my immune system and stay healthy throughout this pandemic?

Beyond the obvious hand-washing, social distancing and staying at home tactics, there are a multitude of ways you can continue to remain strong both physically and mentally throughout this situation to ensure your well-being and health does not diminish. 

Relax and meditate

Meditation might seem like a strange concept at first, but if this is something you have been reluctant to try, now is the time to give it a crack. Meditation not only helps you to clear your head and focus on yourself during stressful situations, but it can also help to keep your immune system functioning properly. 

Be mindful of what you’re eating

Paying attention to what you’re eating and being conscious when it comes to your diet is a great way to ensure a healthy immune system. The easiest way to maximise your nutrition is by consuming an array of vegetables, fruits, proteins and carbohydrates. There are a variety of nutrients that play a huge role in building immunity. 

Carrots, kale and apricots contain beta carotene, which is then converted to vitamin A, vital for producing antibodies that respond to toxins and foreign substances. Oranges and broccoli are a great source of vitamin C which helps the body determine what kind of protection is required. Vitamin D can help reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs and plant milk products. 

Stay active 

Even if you’re someone who regularly engages in fitness activities, during these trying times finding the motivation to get up and get after it can be challenging. Whether you attend fitness classes on a weekly basis or wake up and hit the gym each morning, with the new ban on health club attendance you are likely struggling with the idea of instead running outside or investing in online fitness classes.

Let’s work on finding motivation together! Join our virtual community at Pinnacle Health Club for coach and peer support. Whether you’re searching for calming pilates and yoga or kick-butt HIIT Strength classes, our online community can help guide and support you while at the same time providing challenges for you to level up you exercises.  

Get plenty of rest

If you’re one of the thousands of employees who have switched to remote work, your morning and evening routines have likely changed drastically. While your schedule may be flipped upside down, take advantage of your new situation and use that extra time to get some much-needed z’s. To keep your immune system strong, experts recommend getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. 

Find creative ways to manage stress

Psychological stress can increase your chances of acquiring an illness. Also, when experiencing stress it’s common to fall back on unhealthy habits, including drinking, smoking and even eating junk food. It’s ok to feel stressed, afraid and anxious. If you’re finding yourself panicking more than usual, find activities that help relieve these stressful feelings. Whether it’s connecting more with friends and family or getting active with Pinnacle Health Club’s virtual online community, finding creative ways to manage anxiety will make staying healthy a lot easier.

Prepare Yourself for a Better Sleep: Lizzy’s 5 Top Tips

Prepare Yourself for a Better Sleep

Our coach Lizzy, is an expert in holistic health and has put together her top tips for improving your sleep.

Sleep is perhaps one of the most important yet under- appreciated factors that contributes to optimal health. This is the time when the physical and the psychological systems go into repair mode. Our stress hormone, cortisol, is reduced, and we get a surge in anabolic growth hormones like testosterone.

The natural sleep/wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is something we share with most living creatures. A modern, fast-paced lifestyle though can severely disrupt this. Shift work, late working hours and screens or backlit displays such as tablets and smartphones can really impact our sleep.  When you are exposed to a bright light such as your phone in the middle of the night, your body registers a light source in a similar way to a sunrise. The result,  a premature spike in cortisol levels as your body prepares to wake up. This negatively affects the repair cycle and can have a detrimental effects on our overall health.

Reduce your caffeine intake.

Particularly after midday. If you struggle to sleep or have pre-exisiting anxiety, depression or hormonal imbalances, consider removing caffeine completely.

Get to sleep by 10:30pm.

This usually means in bed  by around 10pm. If this is difficult for you, try setting yourself a sleep alarm to alert you to when it’s time to start getting ready for  bed.

Use blackout curtains.

Minimising environmental light pollution (particularly if you live in a densely populated area) can really improve your sleep.

Limit screens after dark.

Do not expose yourself to bright TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones after dark. This is really under-appreciated, and can have a huge impact on your sleep and health.

MOVE!

Exercise will help promote blood-flow and help sleep. However for some, high intensity exercise and interval training can in fact impair your sleep. limit your harder sessions to earlier in the day and stick to  gentle activities like walking and yoga in the afternoon and evening.

How To Stay Motivated This Winter

How to Stay Motivated This Winter

With the mornings getting darker, here are our quick tips to help you get up and going this winter.

Set out your clothes the night before

Being organised is so important. It takes an extra 5 minutes before you go to bed but laying your clothes out the night before makes it harder to say no in the morning. 

Get a gym buddy

Nothing motivates you more than knowing that you are letting someone else down by not being there. Whether that’s by booking into a class or going with a friend or family member. Keeping each other accountability helps not press that snooze button!

Move your alarm clock

How easy is it to just hit snooze and roll over? Why not move your alarm clock or phone to the other side of the room forcing you to get out of bed and switch it off! By the time you are you, you are already one step closer to being out the door.

Make sure you get a good sleep

Poor sleep or lack of sleep obviously makes getting up harder. Develop a bed time ritual that you stick too that helps to start your body to slow down. Stay away from your phone, as hard as it is! Your brain is highly alert when on your screens so does the opposite of what we want to be doing. My go to routine is a chamomile or peppermint tea in bed with a book (sounds very nanna but trust me!).

Have variety in your training

It’s human nature to lose engagement and motivation in the winter months so making sure you have enough variety in your training is the best way to keep things interesting. Try our studio memberships so you can combine HIIT training in the Locker Room with our Wellness classes and see how this improves your motivation and fitness this winter! Click here to find out more.