Are you a creature of habit? If so, you're not alone. When it comes to exercise, many of us head for the same class at the gym, log the same workout on the elliptical, and run the same route every time we go out. While regular exercise is good for you, it’s also important to vary your fitness routine. Both your body and brain will reap benefits when you try new activities; it’s the key to stimulating different muscle groups and preventing boredom.
Here are a few benefits that come with mixing up your exercise routine.
Break Through Plateaus
When you do the same activity all the time, your body gets used to it and becomes very efficient. Eventually, that adaptation will mean you burn fewer calories even when you’re doing the same amount of exercise. If you challenge your body in a way that it’s not used to your body will have to work harder as it adjusts to the new activity, which means that you’ll burn more calories.
There’s a reason why you get hurt when you put your body through the same motions over and over again. This type of injury often occurs from doing lots of repetitive motions, such as running, hitting a tennis ball, kicking (in kickboxing or martial arts classes), etc. By mixing things up, you give those overused muscles, joints, and ligaments a chance to rest and recover before putting them into action again.
Build New Muscles
For most people, the best approach in exercise is to do a little of everything. This approach helps you to build a strong heart (for endurance), muscular legs, and a powerful upper body. You’ll look great and be physically ready to take on a variety of sports and activities.
If you find yourself literally counting down the seconds left in your elliptical workout or can hardly stand the sight of the same streets as you run down them, it’s time to switch up your routine. Keep your workouts from getting stale by constantly trying new things. At Evolve Fitness Studios we offer more than 80 classes each week so there are plenty to choose from so you can have a total change of pace.
Meet New Workout Partners
One of the best ways to stay engaged with exercise and committed to a regular schedule of activity is to find people you want to work out with. Join a running group, try a Pilates or Broga class with a friend, or bring a friend to join you for personal training as a duo.
Keep Your Brain Healthy
Exercise is essential for keeping your brain sharp and helping to prevent memory loss. Learning new skills also helps keep your neurons in better shape. When you learn a new exercise activity, it's a win-win for your body and your brain. The key is to choose activities that keep you engaged; don’t pick things that you can do like a braindead zombie. You don’t need to overexert yourself to reap the benefits of exercise for your brain and memory, but you should exercise regularly. Research shows that when you are active you have a lower risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and stroke, all of which can affect memory.
Get Excited About Exercise, Again!
When you start feeling dread rather than enthusiasm for working out, it's time to switch things up. It might take a little sampling of different activities before you find the right mix that works for you, but stick with it and you'll find something you enjoy. Just make sure you include several different types of activities each week and swap out something new every once in a while to keep your routine fresh.
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