Why you need to vary your workout
Is your workout becoming a bit too routine? Here's why it's best to switch things up.
Working out on a regular basis is good for your health. But if you're doing the same thing day after day, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment – or worse yet, you may lose your motivation to stick with your exercise routine altogether. That's because there are two things that commonly happen when you do the same workout routine all the time – your mind and your body both get bored.
Here's why treating your workout like it's groundhog's day, where you wake up and do the same thing over and over again, is not such a good idea:
- You lose your motivation. Doing the same thing day after day can make you start to dread the activity you once loved. If you no longer enjoy what you're doing, you're less likely to make time in your day to do it. By changing up your workout periodically or doing different activities throughout the week, you keep things fun and interesting so you're more likely to stick with it.
- You're disappointed with your results. When you keep doing the same workout, the activity may stop challenging your body the way it used to do. This means you won't see the same positive changes to muscle tone, endurance or weight loss that you did when you first started.
So how do you get out of an exercise rut?
- Try something new. Having more than one "go-to" exercise provides you with the flexibility to change things up anytime you want. Variety is good for your body and your mind.
- Vary intensity, focus or duration. To change something you're already doing, add intervals of high-intensity activity interspersed throughout your usual activity. Or switch the focus of your workout on different days – pay attention to speed one day and technique or duration on other days.
- Change the environment. Find a new setting to breathe some life into your workout. If you normally go to the gym, head outdoors for a brisk walk instead. Vary your music playlist, sign up for a class or buy a new workout outfit.
- Find a workout buddy. One way to get out of an exercise rut is to work out with a friend. You'll have fun and are more likely to look forward to your workout when you know someone's counting on you.