Thursday, January 31, 2013

Variety


The cave men used their physical strength to provide for themselves and their families. They had to work extremely hard. The human body adapts quickly to stresses placed upon it. This was a very good characteristic for our ancestors. Not so great for us stuck in a modern society of computers and Pop Tarts. Few people have to eke out an existence by the sweat of their brow which is one of the causes of an increase in obesity, heart problems, and many different health challenges.
Because our bodies are so amazing we have to work harder and challenge ourselves differently to maintain optimum health and vigor. If we want to increase our fitness and health we have to be willing to push ourselves and add some spice to our workout.

Variety is key when you're trying to lose weight, get past a plateau, or become more fit. If you do the same cardio or weight routine over and over it will become easy. This is a good thing because it means you're getting stronger, but it also means that you are burning less calories because your body is accustomed to the demands placed upon it. 
You can fix this problem by upping the intensity, duration, and speed of your workout or by changing the type of workout you do, known as cross-training. Cross-training recruits different muscle groups, challenges your body in a new way, and will help you burn more calories. 

How can you cross-train? If you always bike, try swimming or running. If you love the elliptical machine, try something fun like Zumba. If you faithfully lift weights, sample a yoga or Pilates class. If you workout at home and need some variety, rent a new workout video, borrow one from the library or plan a girl’s night out at the gym or hiking a nearby canyon.
Variety really is the spice of exercise. My challenge to you is to try something different this week. Mine isn't exactly new but I'd like to start incorporating more yoga. Please share which new activity you're going to try.

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