A Tabata a Day Keeps Anxiety At Bay: Radical Self Care

A Tabata a Day Keeps Anxiety At Bay: Radical Self Care

Today at Indiana University, white supremacists left flyers specifically “targeting the office doors of faculty members of color or scholars of race and ethnicity, these flyers were clearly meant to intimidate, threaten, scare, and provoke anger among faculty, staff, students and visitors.” This kind of hate and threats creates an environment of fear and under lying anxiety. It makes me sick. These are my neighbors and my friends, people I know and love. It is wrong and not the kind of world I want to live in. I must do my part to create a more just and fair world that recognizes, respects & cherishes all its people. I am not always clear what is the best way for me to create the change I seek but there also remains the question of what to do with the underlying fear and anxiety that eats at the soul and the heart? I am clear I do not have all the answers but today’s self care is one of my favorite anxiety busters: the tabata. It is a fitness miracle but it also helps my mind feel clear. It brings me into my body, and wakes me up without wiping me out. Tabata is a four minute high intensity interval exercise training. You go intense with an exercise for 20 seconds (the work part of the work out) then you rest for 10 seconds and you repeat this 20 seconds intense work, 10 seconds rest for a total of 8 sets or 4 minutes. You can do any exercise, but you want to go hard and go intense. Tabata is named after the Japanese researcher of the same name. He did research on tabatas as a way to improve the fitness of Japanese speed ice skaters. His fitness results are impressive. The Tabata protocol produced much better improvements in fitness – even though the subjects worked out for less time and at a lower intensity. It improved both aerobic and anaerobic capacity, as well as fat loss. Professor Tabata concluded that it’s not the intensity per se that results in improved fitness but the shorter recovery time – and this specific system of 20 second/10 second intervals that is the most effective at improving aerobic and anaerobic fitness. So the science geek in me loves this stuff but the practical girl loves that a 4 minute workout yields better results than a 40 minute one! But mainly I love that afterwards I feel better…every time and I am not worn out, instead I have more energy. Tabatas will not change the world but they may change me enough I can do my part. I try to do a tabata a day to keep my anxiety at bay. Tabatas for the resistance! Hate has no place in my world. I am so grateful for the gifts our faculty members of race and ethnicity offer, and I am so grateful they are part of my community. I stand with you.