Natural beauty is not just about what you put on your skin or what you eat (check out our 6 easy tips on how to feed your skin), and certainly not just how you look. We think your overall wellness and happiness is the most important - make sure your foundation is strong and everything else will flow so much easier, including better, healthier skin.
Regular exercise is not only great for your physical and mental health, but did you also know that it's amazing for your skin? Researchers have called exercise the fountain of youth, with studies showing that regular exercise results in younger skin.
We lead busy and often stressful lives - which only makes it more important than ever to always schedule in time to stay fit, happy and healthy, no matter how time-poor we feel. For anyone looking for an absolutely superb and really time efficient activity to boost their overall fitness - particularly those of you looking to build and maintain a lean, muscular body - read on.
Start sprinting (yes, seriously!)
Unless you're in school, an athlete or actively playing certain sports, you probably haven't sprinted in a long while. Did you know there is an incredible amount of scientific research about sprinting? We won't go into how a little sprinting can activate this fat burning enzyme known as AMPk, or mitochondrial biogenesis (this basically results in better strength, endurance, fatigue resistance and overall fitness). You can even double your endurance capacity when compared with the same level of effort put into aerobic exercise! There is definitely a reason why high intensity interval training (HIIT) is considered more effective than a normal cardio workout.
Not only can sprinting help you burn more calories, but there are also some chemical changes that take place in your body when these workouts take place. As a cool bonus, sprinting really helps reduce stress levels in your body. Here's four terrific reasons to give sprinting a go, stat.
You can complete a full body workout in minutes
A lot of us struggle with getting all our exercise in. The good news about sprinting is that it only takes a couple of minutes to get winded, and it really is a full body workout - you're exercising the butt, hips, hamstrings, quads, calves and abs. Every time you lift your leg, you're seriously working your abs. A top professional sprinter takes just under 50 steps for a 100 meter dash, so that's kind of like doing 50 sit-ups - except you're also doing what is a great alternative to a leg press or squat workout, at the same time!
If you want to try a sprinting-only workout, try doing 5 to 10 sets of 100 meter sprints, for a likely huge overall increase in fitness levels.
Are you trying to lose fat?
Sprinting burns loads of calories in a short period of time. A quick Google search is telling us that sprinting can burn twice as much calories as jogging, or 4 times the amount burned from walking at a moderate pace. This would mean that a 68 kg person could burn around 200 calories by simply doing 10 sets of 100 meter sprints (that's what, under 15 seconds of effort for each set?).
You don't need to be going at the speed of an Olympic sprinter, just enough for your body. If you don't have much time for a cardio workout, you can incorporate a quick sprinting routine to burn calories, or use it to supplement your regime. There are few exercises more efficient at burning calories in a short period of time than sprinting.
Sculpt a lean physique
Sprinting can also supplement your strength training. In addition to any direct weight training you might be doing, this high intensity activity can help promote muscle and tissue growth in a number of ways (those chemical changes we mentioned before), including as a form of overload (from the landing impact) to help build muscle.
Sprinting actually builds endurance too
Seems counter-intuitive? There are studies that show sprinting can increase your cardiovascular fitness in half the time as moderate-level aerobic exercise. The ability to store more oxygen in the muscles helps your body to perform other workouts more effectively over time as well.
Anyone can sprint =)
Tips and reminders
Sprinting is such a pure and powerful activity to get into shape and increase your overall fitness. It's "easy" in that it's literally getting from A to B, but as an anaerobic exercise (training without oxygen!) it can feel like the hardest thing you've ever done.
You can sprint at a park, beach, or on a treadmill, but however you do it, do it safely. There are plenty of articles online on sprinting techniques and optimal training routines, but here are some basics to keep in mind:
• Warm up!
• Do some dynamic stretches, like butt kicks and high knees.
• Do some half-sprints before launching at full speed.
• Have fun =)
Are you already sprinting? What impact has it had on your overall fitness and natural beauty and wellness routines?