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Now, more than ever, we're all looking for ways to stay healthy and boost our immune systems. We asked our friends at barre3 to share the science behind exercise and how we can use it to our advantage right now!
Here's what they had to say:
In a time when so many things are beyond our control, we have two choices: We can obsess over the things we can’t control, or we can focus on the things we can control. The first option sends our cortisol levels through the roof, causing lots of problems and solving none. The second option gives us agency, kickstarting actions that have positive effects.
One thing that’s entirely in our control? Exercise. We all know we feel better after we move, but the benefits of exercise go way beyond that post-class elation. Read on for the science behind how exercise helps us, and, below, for an invitation to join us online for the same remarkable workout.
With the health and safety of our community being our top priority, we want to empower you to continue your practice where you feel safe. From the comfort of your own home, you can stay connected with your local barre3 studio by signing up for LIVESTREAM classes taught by your favorite instructors. Check in with your local studio to learn more about studio-specific online offerings and keep your practice going strong.
Research has shown that regular moderate exercise has positive effects on the immune system, helping us shorten the duration of viruses or ward them off entirely. In other words, whether you’re working out in the studio or at home, your barre3 practice is playing a key role in keeping you healthy.
Healthy heart and lungs are ground zero for a healthy body, and exercise is one of the best ways to keep yours strong. When your heart is healthy, the ripple effects are significant: You’ll experience lower blood pressure, your cholesterol levels will be better, and your body will be better able to stabilize your blood sugar. Healthy lungs not only ensure that the rest of our body is getting sufficient oxygen, but they also make us less prone to respiratory illnesses. Barre3 includes two of the most effective ways to strengthen your lungs, including cardio bursts and breathwork.
Inflammation has been shown to be the root cause of many underlying health issues, linked to everything from heart disease to autoimmune disorders. Research has shown that exercise reduces inflammation by lowering levels of a protein called TNF, which triggers it. A recent study found that it takes as little as 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise for our bodies’ anti-inflammatory response to kick in.
Ironically, one of the things that’s the most effective at boosting our energy is also instrumental in helping us get a good night’s sleep. Studies have shown that as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise helps us get more slow-wave sleep—what we often refer to as deep sleep. This is the stage of sleep in which our bodies and brains rest and rejuvenate. What’s more, quality sleep has been shown to make us less likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, which means solid shut-eye doesn’t just help us feel energized—it also helps us stay healthy.
Let’s face it, these are anxious times—and that’s all the more reason to get moving, since research has shown that exercise can be instrumental in reducing anxiety. The science behind this is fascinating: When we elevate our heart rate through exercise, we actually change our brain chemistry, resulting in higher levels of serotonin and endocannabinoids, both of which help us feel less anxious.
Want to find more barre3 classes to fit your schedule? Browse Mindbody to explore! Hint: Barre3 has over 140 studios—change your location in the search bar to find more!
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.