We are all aware of the importance of exercise in maintaining a fit and healthy physique. The difficulty is that, as humans, we tend to get locked in repetitive routines due to our hectic lifestyles and our nature as creatures of habit.
You might not think this is a terrible thing if your schedule includes regular exercise, but did you realise that doing the same workout day after day loses some of its effectiveness? Variety is the spice of life, and here are a few reasons why you should switch up your fitness routine on a regular basis!
Mix it up
If you don’t want to switch because you enjoy what you’re doing, consider increasing the intensity of your workout every now and again. Make it a personal challenge to beat your own personal best, whether it’s in terms of speed, strength, or flexibility. When lifting weights, be sure you can only complete 8-12 reps per set. When doing 12 becomes second nature, it’s time to increase the weight. If you’re doing moderate-intensity cardio, make sure you’re just out of breath enough to not be able to sing while still being able to carry a conversation. You know it’s time to move faster when you can sing out the chorus of your favourite song.
We may hesitate trying something new because we don’t know where to begin. A personal trainer, a class, or internet tutorials can help with this. Look for workouts that target different body parts or provide a range of intensity levels depending on your fitness level. Try something you’ve never tried before, you could be surprised!
Different body parts
You may prefer arm day over leg day, but for overall health and fitness, you should seek to workout all of the muscles in your body! There will be a whole range of muscles you are missing out on if you merely do the same workout over and again!
Get off the couch
We may be creatures of habit, but doing the same thing every day might become tedious after a while. Exercise can rapidly become uninteresting if it becomes dull. To keep your mind busy, it’s a good idea to swap things up frequently. Otherwise, your enthusiasm may wane, and you’ll be left looking for more interesting activities such as a trip to the bar, or just turning on the TV.
If the scales aren’t moving in the direction you want them to, your body isn’t toning up, or you’re putting in a 30-minute workout and barely experiencing any results, you’ve reached a plateau. Your muscles adapt to an exercise routine in around six to eight weeks, so if you don’t keep changing what you’re doing, you won’t see any results.
Why not attempt a new route if you’re a walker, jogger, runner, or cyclist? It may be the same activity, but if there are different sized hills or types of terrain, the difference can challenge your body. This is also a wonderful strategy to avoid boredom because different views will keep you amused while you go. Simply adjust the resistance or use the incline feature on a treadmill or exercise bike to replicate slopes you could encounter outside if you use any of these routines at home or at the gym.
Take a HITT
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a type of exercise in which you work out hard for a short period of time and then rest for a short amount of time (low intensity exercise). Beginners, for example, could run for 20 seconds at maximum exertion and then stroll for 40 seconds before repeating the process ten times. For those who are a little more advanced, you could perform 40 seconds of sprinting followed by 20 seconds of active recovery.
If you’re short on time, HIIT is ideal since it allows you to get the most out of your workout. You’ll just need 10 minutes (plus another 10 for a good warm up and cool down) to complete the above example, but it’ll provide equivalent (or even greater) advantages as steady-state cardio training, which involves jogging at the same pace for half an hour. As a result, it’s best to avoid doing too much HIIT exercise because it’s really strenuous!