Over the years, I’ve tried many different workouts: spin, running, HIIT, yoga, Pilates, you name it. I’m always open to trying a new form of exercise. But after experimenting with so many different workouts, I started questioning which of them were actually the most beneficial for my body. The reality is that all movement is good, but each of our bodies is different. When you look deeper at your overall health, you can better understand the best type of exercise for you.
Ashley Tisdale came to this realization when her doctor told her that she had borderline thyroid issues. The thyroid plays an important role in providing the body with energy by releasing hormones and balancing metabolism. Ashley used to swear by CrossFit, but it requires much more energy in short bursts as opposed to a lower-impact workout that may require the same amount of energy over a longer period of time. Short-burst workouts, such as CrossFit, can cause more stress on the thyroid gland. After learning about her health concerns and addressing them with her trainer, Harley Pasternak, they came up with a new workout routine to help balance her hormones.
The workout is a combination of walking 14,000 steps a day and incorporating low-impact strength workouts three days a week. This workout may sound much easier than a HIIT class, but do not be deceived. Just because it’s low-impact, it doesn’t mean you won’t break a sweat. While there are a wide variety of low-impact workouts you can do at home with minimal equipment, the workouts Ashley does involve a cable machine, a seated abduction machine, and dumbbells. She starts by doing 10-15 reps of clamshells on either side. Then, she moves on to do 10-15 reps of supine cable triceps pushdowns. After that, she does 10-15 reps of seated abductions before moving onto a three-move circuit. This circuit involves 20 reps of resisted hip thrusts, lying dumbbell triceps extensions, and supine cable abductions. She repeats this circuit five times.
I’ve been told by my doctor that low-impact workouts such as yoga, Pilates, and walking are beneficial for me because of my body type. So, needless to say, I was all too eager to try out Ashley Tisdale’s routine. I started the week with a goal of hitting 14,000 steps. (I usually aim for 10,000, so I knew it was going to be a challenge.)
If you’re like me and work an office job, you can relate to how little time there is in the day to get your steps in, let alone a workout. To make this happen, I decided to break it up. In the morning before work, I woke up a little earlier than usual and started my day with a half-hour walk, which equaled around 4,000 steps. Throughout my work day, I tried to incorporate walking whenever I could: taking a walking meeting, spending my lunch break going for a walk, or simply stepping away from my desk for ten minutes to walk around the office as a mental health break. By the end of the day, I had done another 3,000 steps. After work, I put on an audiobook and went for a long walk. That led me to end my day at just under 14,000 steps.
As someone who doesn’t usually enjoy going to the gym, Ashley Tisdale’s strength workouts were a little outside of my comfort zone. I took my time moving through each exercise and found that while the machines were new to me, the workouts were easy to understand. By the time I came around to repeating the circuit, I was definitely feeling the effects and confident about my movements. In the end, the workout took about 45 minutes to complete, and while I wasn’t walking out sweating like I would from a spin class, I still felt tired and sore.
If I learned anything about getting your steps in, it’s the importance of breaking them up throughout the day. Fourteen thousand steps can feel overwhelming, but by breaking them up, accomplishing them becomes more attainable. I also thoroughly enjoyed starting my day with some fresh air and movement. I was able to go to work feeling energized and mentally clear. But the highlight of trying Ashley’s workout was taking as many chances as possible to move throughout the workday. Sitting at a desk for eight hours is quite hard on the body and brain. By opting for walking meetings and breaks, I accomplished more work and ended the day feeling even better than I had in the past.
Ashley Tisdale’s low-impact workout was a great combination of targeting different muscle groups. In addition, it made me feel like I was working my body without the hormonal effects I sometimes get from high-intensity workouts. I didn’t repeat her strength workout three times during the week because I like to switch it up. Instead, I did other low-impact workouts, including going to a yoga class and doing an at-home obé Fitness Pilates workout. In the end, I learned that just because a workout may seem less impactful, that doesn’t mean it is. And, if you’re looking for a way to stick with an exercise routine that doesn’t make your hormones spike, Ashley Tisdale’s workout is a winner.