Our Bodies Want Workout Variety

couple workout

We all know the type, the runner who logs five miles every morning, or the cyclist who’s done the same spin class for three years without missing a day. But we’ve also heard that mixing up our workouts is key to all-around fitness. And that, friends, couldn’t be any truer.

According to leading exercise physiologists, any kind of physical activity is generally good, but changing your exercise routine frequently will help your body reap maximum benefits.

Mixing up your workouts keeps muscles in check.

Doing the same thing every day increases your chance of injury from using the same muscles over and over.  Think of a runner who suffers hip or hamstring pain after consistently running six days in a row.  Also,  too much of the same repetitive activity or stress on the body will not allow adequate recovery.   So, alternate running days with yoga or try going on a swim instead of another jog.

female pushup

A workout variety helps your body burn all types of fuel.

We all know that we burn both carbohydrates and fat during our workouts, as our bodies need both for fuel. But Experts agree that changing your routine to focus on one more than the other helps your body work more efficiently overall.  Short, intense workouts — like doing sprints on a stationary bike — burn carbohydrates, while longer, sustained workouts — like a moderate trail run — burn fat.  When alternating between the two, your body’s recovery will boost and your performance abilities.

Changing your routine will keep your body and mind guessing.

“Whenever you get bored of your workout, an alarm should go off in your head that it’s definitely time for something new,” says Tara Romeo, a sports director at New York’s Professional Athletic Performance Center.

Doing the same thing day after day not only stops your body from making improvements, but it also bores you out of showing up to the gym for a new challenge.

tricep dip

So how — and how often — should we mix it up?

Exercise experts that I’ve consulted with recommend changing a workout routine completely every 4 to 6 weeks, while also switching up the exercises you do from day to day. Change from a weight machine to free weights when doing strength training, for example, or from cycling to swimming for cardio. Even running uphill on a treadmill one day versus running downhill outside on another works a different sets of muscles.

When you switch it up, your body is fighting harder to keep the pace. In other words, it is finding ways to adapt, whether that’s building bigger and more muscle cells or recruiting more muscle motor units and burning more fat than carbs.  The end result will continue to be the same: gains in performance and a healthy, happy body.

Indeed, I will gladly take that.

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15 Ways to Get Fit in 15

fitness

Welcome 2015.  Time again to think about what the new year will bring.  Fitness goals seem to top most peoples lists of new years resolutions.  I am no different, at this time of year I am always thinking about what I can do to become more fit.  I am also a lover of lists, I am always making lists with bullet points, numbers and check boxes which really excites me.  Lists allow me to organize and track my life; it also allows me to focus my research while preparing blog posts.  Sooooo……here is the first list of the new year..here it goes….

  1. Write down your workout – if you write it, you manifest and affirm it and you are creating your workout program.  Don’t just write it once, write down what you plan to do every single week.
  2. Mix up your workout routine – especially for cardio exercise.  Doing this will help you to not plateau and will continually challenge your body.
  3. Sleep – The U.S. is the most sleep deprived country on earth.  Think of how healthy it is to sleep, so much occurs to our bodies during our sleep time, especially healing.   Sleep is the best form of self care.
  4. Change one thing about your diet – don’t make huge, sweeping resolutions to eliminate entire food groups, just start small, eliminate soda pop to start.
  5. Exercise at least 20 minutes per day.  You can always fit 20 minutes into a busy day.  Getting up 20 minutes earlier to exercise is doable.
  6. Focus on your gut – the best abs are created in the kitchen.  Also include a probiotic into your food regimen
  7. Eat Healthy Fats – avocados, nuts, olive oil, flax seeds.  Consume daily.
  8. Drink more water – add your favorite citrus essential oil to  8 oz of water for a refreshing flavor that will help with detox.  This is also a great way to wean from soda.  Drink 1/2 of your weight in ounces everyday.
  9. Eat a healthy breakfast that includes a protein.  Breakfasts is still the most essential meal of the day, don’t skip it and be sure to add an egg or a good protein shake to the menu.
  10. Always workout on Mondays.  This will set the tone for the rest of the week.
  11. Make your schedule more active.  Go on active dates, have a meeting while walking, walk to lunch, take the stairs, go on a bike ride instead of watching t.v.
  12. Try a new workout program – instead of going running, try Zumba
  13. Let go of the past  – if you didn’t meet your goals last year, it’s o.k. let it go and move forward!
  14. Push yourself physically everyday – do one more pushup, run one more lap, add 5 lbs to your barbell.
  15. Don’t overbook or over commit – make self care #1 and minimize the busyness in your day so you have time to get fit.

If you incorporate all 15 points into your fitness regimen, you will feel stronger, emotionally balanced and have increased energy during the up-and-coming year.

Source: MSN