Fitness

Importance of Mixing Up Your Exercise Routine

February 15th, 2014 by

Exercise routineSo you’ve taken the plunge and joined the local gym in your quest to achieve a Victoria’s Secret physique…

Here’s a typical gym goers routine (well actually a typical gym goer’s routine dries up around mid- January… but this is a typical routine for someone who commits to their resolution: ) They’ll navigate the gym to find out what is enjoyable-ish – typically this would include the treadmill, cross trainer, rowing machine and exercise bike. Gym goer will happily build a routine of 10 minutes on treadmill, 10 minutes on cross trainer, 10 minutes on rowing machine – and so on… If gym goer commits to a regular routine and supports it with a healthy diet, results will start to ping after about 2 weeks. Encouraged by their success this golden formula is followed for weeks, months, even years. However to their dismay, problem areas again start to strike with the reappearance of fat stores, which had melted away after their initial throws of exercise bliss. Gym goer gets frustrated, but vows not to let their killer routine slip. They plateau.

When you engage in the same physical exercise day in day out your body gets accustomed to it. It is no longer challenged because it knows exactly what to expect. So as a self-preservation tactic, it clings on to its fat stores and burns energy at a slower rate, so as not to dip into fat for fuel.

The secret to a successful workout routine is variation, and not getting stuck in a comfortable rut.

Here are some tips:

  •  Add a whole new workout to your exercise regime on a weekly basis. The internet makes this easy, as professionally administered routines are available online, bringing a personal trainer to the comfort of your living room! They range from Pilates and Yoga to kick boxing and high intensity interval training. Adding new routines will challenge the body, and target different areas of the body and muscle groups.
  • Aim to work all areas of the body throughout the week. One day you might do an abs workout at home, another day you might do a core and legs Pilates class, another you might go for a run and use weights for resistance work. This automatically promotes variety to your exercise regime, and after all – who wants killer arms but flabby arms?!
  • Use different equipment. This is one of the easiest ways to incorporate variation to a routine that you love. Say if you’re a runner – take a light pair of dumbbells out with you and increase the weight with each week that passes. This will work the upper body and arms as you work out your legs. The same technique may be applied to power walking.
  • Your usual workout with a twist… If you run or walk a lot – simply mix up your routes and aim for as many hills and inclines as possible! Use interval techniques to run as fast as you can for 5 minutes and slow the pace for 5 minutes, then repeat the process – this challenges the body more and accelerates fat burn processes too. Interval training can be applied to most cardio activities. Try high intensity interval training workouts.
  • Join a team! Whether football, netball, basketball or hockey is your thing – look around for some local teams. The motions and physical techniques that we employ when playing matches like these will never be going through the same motions, plus you’ll be letting the team down if your flake out of training, adding an extra incentive to exercise!
  • Play sports with your partner and friends – tennis, squash, badminton, or simply an evening power walk. This adds variation to both exercise and social soirees!
  • No matter what your workouts entail, aim to push yourself further than you did last time. Add 5 more crunches, 5 more minutes or beat your last time – this automatically switches your effort level up a notch and challenges your body, enhancing fitness and fat blast!

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