February 11, 2021 4 min read
Once you’ve settled into an effective routine, it can be challenging to find the motivation to create and adjust to another. It’s nice and comfortable, so why change it? Well, to get the most out of your workouts and see effective, balanced results, let us explain why you should switch up your workout routine and the benefits of trying the wide array of exercises and equipment available to you.
If you’ve really settled into and feel comfortable with your current fitness routine, you’ll probably notice you’re not making as much progress as you used to. Through repetition, our bodies adapt and learn how to perform repetitive acts with greater efficiency. While this makes it easier for our bodies to perform those tasks, it also means you’re not challenging yourself anymore, which means you aren’t making any further changes to your body. By switching up your routine, your body has less of a chance to adjust and find the most “efficient” way to perform your exercises, so you’ll continue to challenge yourself and see better results.
“No pain, no gain” isn’t the healthiest motto to exercise by. Performing the same strenuous actions over and over can result in repetitive strain injuries. These occur when the muscles you’re working out never get a chance to rest and repair themselves. By switching up your routine, you’ll be able to give different muscle groups a break while still exercising and improving upon other muscle groups. This same concept applies if you do find yourself injured—you can still work out other parts of your body while your injury heals.
You’ve likely noticed that we keep touching on working out a variety of muscle groups as one of the consistent reasons why you should switch up your workout routine. Not only does working out different muscle groups prevent overuse injuries or weight-loss plateaus, but it can also help you see more well-rounded results from your exercise.
Switching up your routine goes beyond your physical well-being. Exercising can also keep your brain sharp and reduce memory loss, but it’s the act of practicing new skills and activities that keeps our neurons firing the best. The key, however, is to choose engaging activities and exercises. If something isn’t providing enough of a challenge, you’ll likely just go into autopilot without having to use much thought. If the activity you’ve chosen is tedious, your mind will tune out, and you’ll soon lose motivation to keep doing it. Our brains are weirdly like children in that way—if they get bored, they’ll get antsy and have trouble focusing on anything.
Speaking of boredom, doing the same routine every single day will inevitably lead to it. With no extra challenge and nothing new to stimulate your brain, you’ll soon be going through the motions and thinking of your fitness routine as just another chore. Why feel like you’re going through a slog when trying new exercises can keep your workout fresh, engaging, and even (dare we say) fun. If you go jogging or walking, even just changing up your route will give you new sights to see and challenges to face. You don’t have to commit to something new right away, either. Try out a variety of exercises and activities, figure out what you like best, and then you can incorporate them into your routine. Worst case scenario, you take a break from your usual routine, so it feels fresher when you get back.
Now, after you decide to create some changes, how do you make them? It’s a good idea to start by creating a new routine or plan a few things you want to try. Maybe you want to design a regimen that focuses on different muscle groups. For example, you could add a “leg day” that focuses on your lower half if your usual routine spends more time working out your upper body. Alternatively, you could keep your regular exercises but change up when and in what order you do them. It’s a small change, but it will help keep your brain stimulated and prevent you from falling into autopilot. Your body will also gain a little bit of a challenge if the usual exercises aren’t in the exact order it has adapted to.
Also, if you’ve been neglecting rest days, strive to use them to your advantage. Giving yourself a break allows you and your muscles to recuperate. The better you feel going into your workout, the more motivated you’ll feel, and the better you’ll perform during your routine. Rest days can help prevent burnout if you are continually doing the same thing every single day. Remember that resting periods are the periods where your muscles grow, so by giving yourself a break, you’ll be able to see the fruits of your labor.
Perhaps your home gym just isn’t quite cutting it anymore. Try adding some variation in the tools and equipment you have. There’s a variety of affordable home fitness accessories that you can use to supplement or augment your exercise routines or provide a greater challenge for exercises that are beginning to feel too easy. If cost is a concern, equipment pieces like functional trainers are perfect because they allow you to perform a variety of routines that can both offer a full-body workout and target a specific group of muscles.
If you’d rather not learn entirely new exercises and routines, make an effort to push yourself further with your current regimen. If you’re using a treadmill for a daily walk, try jogging for half an hour instead. If you’re using weights, try gradually increasing how much weight you’re lifting. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get complacent. Your workout shouldn’t leave you in pain, but it shouldn’t be so easy that you don’t feel like you really exerted yourself by the end of it. Just make sure you’re increasing the intensity of your workout gradually, as too much intensity too suddenly can cause injuries if you don’t give your body a bit of time to adjust and prepare itself for the challenge.
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