Does running on a treadmill every day sound familiar? How about bench pressing every day trying to squeeze out that extra rep. It seems that the majority of us tend to fall into routines with our fitness just like everything else we do. We find an exercise that we think is “comfortable” for us and we stick with it. Now don’t get me wrong, if walking is the only exercise you will commit to regularly than by all means stick with it. However, if you are trying to get fit or in shape, you may want to think about mixing it up a bit. There are at least 10 parameters of fitness which I will not get into right now. But some of the basics would include strength, power, endurance, stamina, flexibility, speed, agility, etc. I’m sure by now you have heard of the term “body confusion.” This is the new hype in workout programs and diet plans. The reason is because it works. If i do push ups and sit ups every single day my body will eventually get good at push ups and sit ups but not much else. If i jog every day, that is what my body will adapt to. I can jog every day and then get exhausted pretty quick on a bike ride. Maybe i do calisthenics every day but then get hit real hard by a weight lifting session. So what can we do here? You don’t need to have a lot of fancy equipment or gym memberships to do this. Here are some general ideas.
WARM UP- basic stretching, yoga, warm up stretching, massage, slow walking, qigong, or tai chi. Sometimes if your feeling tired, this is good to do by itself.
CARDIO – jogging, brisk walking, bike riding, kayaking, swimming, sports, rebounding on a mini-trampoline, jump rope, and martial arts.
BODYWEIGHT – calisthenics, yoga, sports, push ups/pull ups. There are at least 10 different ways to do push ups and pull ups. Mix up your routine so you are doing different exercises every time you train. Use objects such as chairs to make things more challenging. Some light weights or kettlebells could be used here as well.
STRENGTH – Personally, i think this is the lease important area to work on. I knew so many people who focused on trying to “get huge” but end up sluggish with a slow metabolism. But things like lifting weights, sprinting, climbing ropes, pushing/pulling heavy objects, moving furniture, etc will do it.
The most important thing here is to always “mix it up.” Not only will your body become a lot more rounded and strong, but you will be participating in a ton more activities than you were before on your “one track” fitness routine. So lets stop playing it safe with what we know we can do and start changing things up a bit.