The only way to build fitness is to continually change up your routine. If you do the exact same movements every time you work out, you won't be getting the most out of your fitness commitment. That means you can and should be finding new, interesting ways to exercise.
Varying your exercise routine can help you do two things: prevent boredom and avoid reaching a plateau in your performance and ultimately in your training results. In fact, research shows that varying your exercise routine can help improve adherence. A study at the University of Florida found that people who changed their workouts every two weeks over an eight week period appeared to enjoy their workouts more and were more inclined to stick with their regimen than those who did the same 'ole thing week after week. Plus, our bodies tend to adapt to the repetitive stimulus in our exercise programs within about six to eight weeks, so if you are not switching it up, you could hit a plateau.
This is good news for those of you who already exercise and great news for those of you who thought about clicking to another page. Even If you are not a gym rat, this is your chance! Being fit isn't all about doing the same routine day after day in the gym. It means trying new things, and that can be a lot of fun—if you choose wisely.
It could be a new gym circuit so that you tire your muscles out in a new pattern. It could be rock climbing, martial arts, rollerblading, mountain biking, swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or yoga. Even adding a sprint to your walk or more hills to your run is enough to make things unpredictable to your body.
So whether you are a workout-a-holic, on the fence about exercise, or gym-phobic, try a new physical activity. You will benefit from the challenge to your body and if you choose right, you just might have fun too!
Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, is the founder and president of Nutritious Life, a nutrition practice based in New York City, and Nutritious Life Meals, a gourmet, healthy, daily diet delivery program available across the country. She is a member of Women's Health Magazine's advisory board and has authored Slim Calm Sexy Diet, The O2 Diet, and The Snack Factor Diet. Her fourth book, The New You and Improved Diet, will be released in December. Her expertise is regularly featured on the Today show, Good Morning America, and Access Hollywood Live, among others, and she hosts "A Little Bit Better" on YouTube's Livestrong Woman channel. Read more of Keri's tips every day on Facebook!