There’s something about starting the week strong that can set you up for success. ClassPass, the fitness collective that streams thousands of live or on-demand workouts from top studios around the world, released new data revealing the most popular days, times and workouts for their millions of active users. Monday morning strength training and Sunday yoga were among the most popular.
With thousands of people partaking in each, we did some digging of our own to find some healthy body benefits that will help motivate you to get up and move.
Monday Morning Strength Workout
According to the ClassPass research, strength training early Monday morning is the most popular among users. Mondays are also my busiest days with clients. They view the beginning of the week as a clean slate or as a need-to-makeup-for-their-behavior-over-the-weekend day. So, a challenging, strength training workout can make sense to kick start your morning.
If you need some motivation to set that alarm to lift those weights, there are many benefits to strength training. You’ll increase lean muscle, decrease body fat, and burn calories more efficiently.
Plus, it can help more than just your muscles. Strength training first thing in the morning has been found to jump start the brain. Recent studies have shown that exercise has the potential to increase levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) — improving cognitive health.
Sunday Evening Yoga Benefits
Yoga is such a beautiful form of exercise. The challenging poses of yoga improve posture and flexibility over time making it a great workout to go along with strength training, running, HIIT, etc.
Also, it can help your gut. Yoga’s twisting the body poses help your digestive system. I like to visualize my body as a sponge being wrung out. “Twists help massage abdominal organs and stimulate Agni,” according the the Chopra Center. “Your body’s Agni allows you to digest food efficiently and absorb essential nutrients from your food. By gently twisting your body after a large meal, you encourage fresh blood to flow to your digestive organs.”
Another big part of yoga is using and being mindful of your breath. How many times have you been told to stop and take a deep breath when feeling stressed or anxious? Breath can be calming. In my yoga studies, I have been taught that by steadying the breath, we relax our body and tell our brains that we are not in fight or flight mode.
Whether you want to improve flexibility or to just have a relaxing, stress-free moment before the week starts — Sunday yoga is a great way to do something nice for your body.
— By Jane Hanisch, NLC, personal trainer