CHANGE IT UP!
I don’t know about you…..but, I can get a bit lazy in the gym and do the same three or four routines week after week. And go on numerous rants about them not being very effective! And, this whole icky COVID thing didn’t help!
So, is there a benefit to changing things up a bit?
No question….being consistent and exercising regularly is good for you. But, it’s also important to try new things and vary your workout routine. Your body and your brain will reap benefits when you try new activities and skillsets. “There are numerous benefits to mixing up your workout routine,” says Arnold Lee, MD. “It’s the key to stimulating different muscle groups and preventing boredom.”
One thing I learned during the quarantine is that the number of different workouts and exercises available out there is staggering! If you love more traditional activities — like running, biking, walking or swimming — look for ways to change up your workout and make it more challenging. For example, instead of running on the treadmill or the road, head for a wooded trail. Not only will you experience an change of scenery, but you’ll work your body in a different way that can enhance your overall fitness level.
Here are a few benefits to changing it up:
BREAK THE PLATEAU:
“When you do the same activity all the time, your body gets used it and becomes very efficient,” explains Lee. “Eventually, that adaptation will mean that you burn fewer calories even when you’re doing the same amount of exercise.”
DO THIS: Throw the old body something it hasn’t done before. This will help challenge new muscles and you expand your skillset. Your body will have to work harder as it adjusts to the new activity, which means that you’ll burn more calories when you work out. Also, be sure to eat real foods and keep things plant-based if you can. If not, no judgement…I read this book to learn more and to get some ideas about recipes.
BUILD NEW MUSCLES:
We tend to notice a professional in the gym or on the roadside. They have those powerful arms and shoulders or the chiseled legs of a runner.
That’s because professional athletes focus almost exclusively on one sport — and that sport builds very specific results. But, for those of us who do not compete professionally, the best approach is to do a little of everything. That way you’ll build a strong heart (for endurance), muscular legs and a powerful upper body.
KEEP A HEALTHY BRAIN:
Exercise is essential for keeping your brain sharp and helping to prevent memory loss. And learning new skills also helps keep your neurons firing. So learning a new exercise activity is a double-whammy when it comes to brain health. The key is to choose activities that keep you motivated; don’t pick things that you can do on autopilot.
DO THIS: You don’t need to over do it and exert yourself to reap the benefits of exercise for your brain and memory, but you should be consistent. Research shows that active individuals have a lower risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), and stroke, which can affect memory.
WHATEVER you choose to do to stay healthy is great! Just start where you are and keep going….we all struggle with discipline so don’t be too tough on yourself. I believe we all remember my big announcement that I had gained a cool 10 lbs during quarantine. My NEW method of working out was a very quick walk to the fridge numerous times a day……I admit it….boredom got the best of me.