Students, staff encourage diverse workouts instead of exercise trends

Photo by Tyler Wong
Photo by Tyler Wong

Scrolling through Instagram, senior Ella Rosenblum sees young women promoting the value of “gentle workouts” like Pilates and long walks, bringing to light a new workout trend. 

Every year, new workouts flow in and out of the public eye. 

In past years, high-intensity interval training and weight training have been seen as the most effective ways to exercise by many health experts. 

However, more recently, there has been a redefinition of effective exercises.

On Instagram and TikTok, Pilates, yoga, inclined treadmill and long walks have taken over. 

Physical Education teacher Sheri Mulroe said it is important that people have diverse workouts to promote wellbeing. 

“(Gentle workouts) are known as low-intensity steady state workouts or LISS, and they are part of a well-rounded person,” Mulroe said. 

Rosenblum is a certified yoga instructor and said while she enjoys practicing yoga daily, she also prioritizes weight training and cardio to diversify her workouts.

She said the redefinition of effective workouts can be beneficial when taken lightly. 

“It feels like every week someone on TikTok is saying that there’s a different way that is best if you want results,” Rosenblum said. “The main issue is that people go to the extremes. They don’t just say something like, ‘It can be good to include Pilates,’ they say things like, ‘Weight lifting will ruin your body. Pilates is the only way to see results.’” 

According to Tia Lynn Lillie, director of DAPER Academic Programs at Stanford, Pilates and walking can be great forms of exercise when used in combination with other workouts.

“There is a place for (gentle workouts),” Lillie said. “For example, if you’re doing cardiovascular and strength training during the week, weekends are a great time to take it easy and go for a light walk or do some yoga.”

Rosenblum said her workout schedule aligns with this idea.

“I usually alternate: one day heavier weights at the gym, and the next day I do something like a long run or something fun like skateboarding or roller skating,” Rosenblum said. “I absolutely love yoga as something I do in addition to higher-intensity things like heavier weight lifting and cardio.” 

Rosenblum said she appreciates not only the physical aspect of yoga but also the mental benefits it brings.

“It’s not just about the physical with yoga. It’s mental,” Rosenblum said. “I’m not even that spiritual of a person, but something about it feels spiritual, and it’s great.”

Mulroe said this is a critical part of working out because, without enjoyment, there may be no motivation to continue. 

“If you like it, you can do it,” Mulroe said. “If you’re like, ‘I should really do this,’ but you don’t like the (type of workout), you’re not going to do it.”

While workout trends may ebb and flow, the important part of exercise is to take care of yourself and listen to professional sources such as the CDC, Lillie said. 

“The CDC does a great job in (showing) this is how much you need to do for moderate intensity, this is how much you need to do if you’re vigorous intensity (and) this is how much you need to do per week,” Lillie said. “And that’s super important for strengthening our heart and decreasing our risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Mulroe agrees and said it’s also important to listen to reputable trainers, no matter the trend or form of exercise. 

“Anyone can post anything on the internet,” Mulroe said. “All the reels I see on Instagram are being posted by (random people) … some people will see a person and think, ‘That person looks amazing’ and do (the exercise) to look a certain way instead of to feel a certain way.”

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