Posted In Move

Mix it up: Variety is the key to a great training routine and a great body

28th October 2015

Mix up your workouts.  Getting outside your comfort zone is beneficial for your body since variety prevents your exercises becoming ineffective. If you do the same thing all the time – say, run at the same speed for 30 minutes every other day, you’ll burn calories but you’ll hit a plateau very quickly, from which your strength and fitness level will not increase.  You’ll need to increase speed or incline if you want to actually gain results.  If you did the same weights exercises every day, you wouldn’t be giving your muscles enough time to recover between each workout, so you wouldn’t be able to train as hard the next time, and so forth.

In order to increase fitness, you need to keep your muscles guessing and strengthening by activating different muscle groups in different ways. You can broaden your physical abilities and put new, good stress on your muscles that you rarely use which can push you past a fitness plateau or to a whole new level.   Research shows that doing different types of exercise increases your physical and emotional stamina since you are constantly pushing yourself out of familiar territory, and forcing your body and mind to try different things and work on different areas of fitness, be that co-ordination, strength, balance or endurance. A varied active fitness schedule is the fastest way to a toned, fit body.

There is also the boredom factor. Even if you aren’t as exercise ADHD as me, doing the same workout again and again won’t feel very inspiring or inviting, especially since you won’t be seeing results quickly. So remember to mix it up!  Try something new: an aerobic dance class like salsa or zumba, spin, swimming, kickboxing, climbing, barre, paddleboarding, a run in the hills, new training routines.  Don’t forget about sport too – I remember Elle MacPherson telling me once that she didn’t really like the gym but loves any sport and getting outdoors.  Tennis, squash and football are not just great aerobic exercise but also great ways to spend time with friends or feel part of a community, now recognised to be one of the most important ways to secure happiness.  Why not email a friend right now and agree a weekly time where you alternate trying something new together? Have fun!