Face it, we all go through ruts. Doing the same routine every day may be fine for some, but for the rest (myself included), sometimes you just need a change.
If you’ve never really exercised before, the world is your oyster. You can try anything and experience the newness of the activity. Figuring out what you like and dislike is an adventure. Avid exercisers often find themselves in a comfortable little box of one or two activities. These folks gravitate toward the elliptical OR the treadmill OR the stair mill.
In the two and a half years that I have been a member of my gym, I’ve noticed many patterns in people. One woman in particular comes in about three times a week in the evening after work. The only machine this woman uses in the entire gym is the elliptical. Sadly, I’m there enough to know this. She gets on, works at an average pace, then gets off and leaves. No other cardio, no classes, no weights. If that meets her needs, that’s great. However, improving one’s fitness level means taking it to the next level.
Muscles have memory. Do you want yours to say, “been here, done this” or “whoa, this is different, I like this!”? Sure, activating muscles in different ways may leave you cursing in the morning when you get out of bed. Not challenging them will ultimately make your workout less effective. Muscles want to be challenged.
Always on the treadmill? Try taking a group fitness class. Only a group fitness type? Test your strength with free weights or on the weights machines. Are you an all-weights, all-the-time person? Try building your cardio endurance.
I recently found myself in a cardio rut. The majority of my workouts involved the treadmill, outdoor running and my favorite cardio classes. I reached a point when I didn’t feel that slight uncomfortable feeling that reminded me that I worked out. I felt like I wasn’t progressing, and that my body was screaming for something different. In fact, I’ve talked to a number of people who felt the same. One friend started working out in the mornings instead of the evenings for a change. Another is willing to join me in one of my adventures because she feels stagnant.
Change is good, both for mind and body. And the brain component is just as important as the muscle component. Do your body a favor and try something different!
Note: This is for educational purposes only. Please consult your doctor if you have any limiting factors with exercise.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.primeparentsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/LoriCombat.jpg
[author_info]About the Author
Lori Rypka is the Prime Parents Club Fitness Contributor, a mom of two wonderful kids first, a writer, wife, friend, personal trainer and marathon runner in training second. She enjoys helping others in their personal journeys toward living healthier lives. The biggest tool in her tool box: humor. Who says dieting can’t be fun? You can find Lori at http://www.fumbledintofitness.com/, or on Twitter as @LoriRypka.