As many of you know from following me on Instagram, I transitioned from high intensity workouts to low intensity about six-ish months ago. After constant soreness, uncontrollable stress levels and an insatiable hunger, I decided it was time for a change.
Spin and bootcamp classes were a priority for me and I religiously went 5-6 times a week along with days I was possibly squeezing in a double. I thought that if I wasn’t dying during a workout, I was doing it wrong. If I didn’t get my heart rate up or walk out fully drenched, then I deemed the workout a failure.
I found myself insanely hungry and eating more calories than I was burning —not that I count calories, but that definitely effects weight gain. I was always reaching for more carbs to compensate for the sweat.
I noticed my body was constantly aching, my stress levels were always high, and I had developed plantar fasciitis (an insane foot pain), which I then realized stemmed from spin. I could never fall asleep at night, needed melatonin or other natural remedies to help with insomnia, which was bizarre because I felt like I had zero energy during the day due to the workouts.
Sometimes I found that these higher intensity workouts were a form of stress release, but what I didn’t realize was that putting my body through those stressful sweat sessions actually increased my cortisol levels. There were definitely days that I woke up for my 7am class and would have much rather preferred to stay in bed (I’m sure you can all relate!).
My transition was slow and I cut down to 2-3 spin classes a week, incorporating more pilates, barre, and sculpt in general. I also incorporated forms of dance to add in some cardio but in an enjoyable way. When I become comfortable I finally cut HIIT, bootcamps, and most cardio out of my fitness routine compltely.
Learning to do these low-impact sculpt classes correctly became just as great of a workout as the ones that made me feel like I was dying. It changed the way I felt about working out and I was actually excited to go.
The low intensity lifestyle has done wonders for me. I lost weight naturally, was less hungry and reaching for more greens, I was calmer (goodbye cortisol spikes!) and I could actually fall asleep naturally. My energy levels finally made sense throughout the day and I was more in tune with my body.
My constant aches and pains were gone, but that’s not to say that I don’t get sore, it’s just a different kind. I found that low impact sculpting works on different muscle groups that has led to the results I was initially looking for! Hello booty and six pack!
I am a huge advocate of finding what works best for you and giving yourself permission to change and adapt to different kinds of workouts. Toning down my exercise has provided me with so many benefits and is so much more sustainable than the draining workouts I used to do. So, while I thrive on low impact, you may feel just as energized doing those high intensity workouts. To each their own!! xx