Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Throw some Spice into your Exercise Regime

If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got. If you wish to witness change, then you must implement change. If you’ve been slogging away at the same old health and fitness routine for more than 12 months, I can as good as guarantee two things: 1) You will look the same today as you did 9 months ago; and 2) You’ll be bored of it. And when boredom strikes, intensity lessens, and before you know it things will begin to go backwards.

For a health and fitness routine to maintain it’s appeal, and for you to keep experiencing change and desired results, it is really important to mix it up. Doing what you have already been doing is the safe option, but I’ll be the first to tell you that stepping outside your comfort zone always proves to be beneficial.

For those of you clinging to the comfort and familiarity of your current fitness regime, and who are denying they need to change it, I have outlined two justifiable reasons why you really should consider mixing it up every now and again:

  • Prevent Burnout – When you do lots of something it’s easy to become bored of it. If you continue to do the same workout routine it’s likely your results will slow down or stop. And if you stop seeing results it’s easier to lose sight of your original goals. So add a little spice to your exercise regime before it gets repetitive and boring.
  • Prevent the Plateau Effect – Changing elements of your workout will keep it from becoming ineffective. If you do the exact same thing day in and day out, your body will reach a point of maximum adaptation and will then strike a plateau. You’ll continue to burn calories, but to maximize results you will need to increase your volume, intensity, repetitions, weights, distance, etc. Your workout must continually grow with you.

Now that you’ve got a better understanding of why you should challenge your body by altering your health and fitness routine on a regular basis, I thought it may be a logical time to provide some inspiration on what you can do to make it different, and to help you keep striving and achieving wonderful new things.

Remember, it is not only what exercise you do that matters, but also what fits into your current lifestyle, and what compliments your body size and capabilities. With these things in mind, try to incorporate some of these ideas into your weekly fitness schedule:

  • Early Bird vs Night Owl – If you’ve always exercised in the evening, try morning sessions instead. Or vice versa.
  • Swim – Indoors or outdoors, no matter where, swimming is a low impact activity that is refreshing and reviving, whilst throwing a different cardiovascular-type response upon your body.
  • Stand Up – If you have a sedentary job, try standing up regularly throughout the day i.e. every 15 minutes. This improves balance, functional strength, and stimulates an abdominal-fat-attacking enzyme.
  • Social Butterfly – Grab a friend or your work colleagues and get involved in a new social sport. Have fun AND get fit!
  • Confuse Thy Body – Vary the speed, intensity, and volume of what you do. Make your workout unpredictable for your body by altering just one or two elements.
  • Fitness Classes – These days there is a huge and varied abundance of group fitness classes. They provide structure and accountability, whilst being motivating, challenging, and often team-building. Find one that suits your level and interests.
  • Try Yoga or Pilates – Fantastic for realigning the body’s balance, for becoming more posturally aware, and for focusing on the core strength of your body. Anyone can attend, regardless of past experience and flexibility level.
  • Add another session – If you normally exercise three times per week, fiddle with your schedule and add in a fourth session. Or, if you normally exercise for an hour each time, reduce it back to 40 minutes but increase the intensity!
  • Relax & Unwind – Find a new hobby that you know will challenge your skills, strength, co-ordination, and fitness levels. Try Nordic walking, tai chi, abseiling, tramping, or waterskiing. Unstructured activities will help you unwind, whilst keeping you fit in the meantime.

There are so many ways to mix up your weekly exercise regime. For best and continuous results to be seen, the same programme or regime shouldn’t be used for more than 8 weeks. Changing certain elements or factors of the routine you are currently embarking on will prevent burnout, boredom, and will keep ensure you continue to see results. So add a little spice, make your workouts a little unpredictable, and watch how your body responds.

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