Some people find a workout that they absolutely love and have no problem doing every single time. Others dread the idea of exercise. And many tend to get bored or reach an exercise plateau. Mixing up your routine can challenge you mentally and physically ensuring that you not only exercise but enjoy doing it every single time!
You no longer have to be monogamous with your fitness routine. Most people who exercise regularly do different things – hit the gym two days a week, yoga for two days, running, swimming or a boxing class on another day, and then enjoy a day or two in the week sans workout. What they really do each day though is to stay as active as possible – walk instead of drive, take the stairs instead of the lift and above all, eat smart and healthy!
Fitness today is a way of life, rather than just an activity. When it comes to exercise, while meeting the standard hours of exercise recommended for overall health, it is also very important to focus on the quality of your workout to achieve your fitness goals.
Note that doing more or repeatedly does not necessarily mean better results. When you repeatedly follow a routine, over time your body adapts to it. It is thus imperative that your consistently change your workout routine to avoid muscle stagnation and to stay focused and engaged. Here I wish to clarify that adaptation has its benefits, for example runners can increase their mileage, martial artists can improve their skills, etc. But in most cases, it becomes detrimental when you are no longer challenging your muscles.
In the past, people would just pick one thing and do it forever. Now it’s all about finding the right mix. To challenge your body and brain, try increasing the intensity of your workout; sign up for a new workout class; if you are a cardio junkie, try strength training; target different body parts; and if you are someone always on the go-go-go mode, try slowing down.
Beyond this, I would also suggest being mindful about what you are doing. In exercise it could be about being mindful of your breath, your movement, the purpose and the intention of exercise. While eating, it could be the choices you are making about the foods you eat, the time and way you eat. In a fast paced world, the practice of mindfulness will certainly add to the quality of your life, even in exercise.
Sandesh Palungwa Limbu, Certified professional fitness instructor, founder of RAGE Fitness, and specialises in mixed martial arts.