Do your exercise days seem to run together? Have your fitness activities that were once enjoyable and challenging become tedious? Everyone knows that exercise is an absolute must for those looking to stay fit or get in shape, but can staying long-term with a program that has proven effective thus far actually be detrimental to your goals? The experts agree: changing your fitness routine will change your body!
The Nitty Gritty
Dieters, fitness buffs, and body-builders – beware. According to Brad Shoenfeld, author of 28-Day Body Shapeover, if you repeat the same movements too many times it will do nothing for muscle development. Just like when the brain changes over to auto-pilot as a person engages in any other type of repetitive activity, thus reflecting the adaptation of the body to that particular exercise. In fact, interval training provides a great example of this effect. The variation of movement and difficulty that comes from alternating high- and low-intensity activities in short intervals burns calories more effectively and for a longer period than traditional exercise.
Strengthening different muscle groups will bolster your whole body because each set of muscles supports another. Strong abdominal muscles assist the back muscles, the quadriceps support the hamstrings, and so it goes. In this way the more muscle groups are strengthened, the better your body will look, feel and move. Plus, you will also be much less susceptible to injury while exerting yourself. So when your routine begins feeling too, well, routine or your results begin to taper off, it’s time to mix it up.
Those lucky enough to stick to traditional exercise routines will find the internet is a wonderful resource for new programs. Many reputable health and fitness sites have well-researched exercise plans, often including nutritional advice. They even have routines specifically designed for each gender. It’s almost like having a personal trainer. For example, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website contains a number of articles directed toward individuals of varying ages, fitness levels, and even for people with disabilities. As such, it is an excellent place to begin. MSN Health & Fitness is also well worth investigating.
For the rest of us, a more creative approach may be required. Boring workouts actually add stress to your life. Swimming, hiking, cycling, running, and even dancing are inexpensive ways to get fit. Choosing activities such as these into your routine should provide enough variety to keep your body and mind from becoming disinterested. If you have a little money to put into it and prefer a more social setting, consider taking a class or two at a local recreation center. They offer everything from boxing to yoga and often at a discounted rate. For social hikers, try the local Sierra Club. It’s free and they have organized hikes every week (some of which end in a picnic)!
With just a modicum of research, anyone can become their own fitness guru. Bookmark your favorite sites and occasionally check back for updates. Remember – the trick to a strong physique and long-term love of exercise is to keep workouts fresh and fun!
Pawlik-Kienlen, Laurie. “Fitness Trends: Pros and Cons of the Top 11.” health.msn.com
Recommended How-to Fitness Answers:
Gluteus to the Maximus. “How to Get a Bigger Butt” gluteustothemaximus.com
Victoria Johnson. “How Do I Burn Fat” amazon.com