When it comes to working out, its so easy to fall into a comfortable routine where we don’t push ourselves or want to try new things. Getting to a new gym or into a workout routine that you enjoy and your seeing some progress in is a hard enough challenge right? I totally get it girl, but sticking to the same workout over and over for a loooong time and not getting out of your comfort zone a little is not the greatest thing and I’ll tell ya why in a sec.
I have been passionate about weight lifting for like ever. I mean lifting weights has been my most consistent workout throughout my fitness journey with bits and pieces of cardio (because cardio is important, don’t skip it!!). My love for lifting weights will never die and it is something I will always incorporate and fall back on. BUT I also love switching things up here and there, trying new things, challenging my mind and body and learning new exercises. Sometimes I just get kinda bored and unmotivated when I go to lift weights for the 100th time. I’m always trying to up my weights and get stronger but I like switching it up to break workout boredom and learn something new even if its out of my comfort zone. It is NEVER fun to come out of your comfort zone and feel like a fool, but it is ESSENTIAL to your growth and helps you become a well-rounded athlete.
Lately I have been into yoga, which I am literally the worst at. My balance and flexibility especially is not good at all and needs some major work because I avoid them. Wanna know why I avoid them? Because its uncomfortable and I don’t like doing something that makes me feel less confident and less empowered. So I’m bad for sticking to the things I’m good at which is lifting heavy ass weights and doing cardio. But I’m forcing myself to go out of my comfort zone and do yoga for a change and I’m actually super into it. Balance and flexibility are important aspects of fitness aside from strength and endurance, so focusing on ALL aspects is something I have to do more. Oopsies.
Anyways my point is that yoga is not something I’m used to, its been really challenging me but in a great way. I’m learning to embrace the struggle and focus on how great I feel afterwards. Trying to be all zen and stuff yennno?
Sometimes I’ll switch it up again and do tabata workouts on youtube or long-distance running, or pilates, or kickboxing, there are so many different workouts out there that challenge you and make you use different muscles. Maybe your good at yoga, or really good at long-distance running, or spin classes, whatever it is… here is why you should occasionally switch things up and do something that your NOT so great at!
Reason 1: Break through a plateau:
- Our bodies are meant to adapt so our muscles quickly adapt to workouts when it starts to become consistent over time. A lot of people workout for weeks, see progress, then all of a sudden there weight isn’t changing anymore or there muscles aren’t toning. This is a plateau, and can be very frustrated for someone on a fitness journey. Switching up your routine is a perfect way to overcome this because your muscles are like WOAH THIS IS NEW, and go through more changes. So it’s important to always push yourself in the gym whether its lifting weights, running, yoga, etc. Like I’m a strong girl, but my body is NOT used to yoga and I am using all different muscles. Yoga makes me feel weak af LOL, I sweat so much when I do it.
Reason 2: Use and build new muscles
- You ever look at an athlete and just know what kind of sport they play by looking at their physique? Sprinters have bigger more muscular and toned quads, hamstrings, and glutes where a long distance runner has longer, leaner legs. Bikers also have lean, strong legs. Someone who throws shot-put or rows, have really strong upper bodies. It’s because they are all so focused on ONE particular sport and train the muscles they need to succeed in it. A 100 m dash sprinter would probably struggle in a long distance race because there using new muscles, different lung capacity and endurance and ALSO mental strength. So by switching up your workout routine, your testing your mental and physical strength in a new, shocking way for your body. This can rev up your metabolism once again getting you out of a plateau and burn more fat.
Reason 3: Prevent workout boredom
- I totally 100% get bored with working out sometimes and lose motivation. If your this way too, then switching up your workouts is a great way to overcome that. When I’m feeling blah and really don’t have the energy to lift weights, I’ll go for a brisk walk, do some yoga, maybe pilates, test my endurance and go for a long run, or just some stretching is enough to make you feel good and get those endorphins going. I’m always youtubing different workouts when I’m bored of the usual routine, and I’m always surprised at how different my body reacts to different workouts. Its kinda fun!
Reason 4: Keeps your brain healthy
- Working out in general is essential in keeping your mind healthy but by switching things up and learning new skills…your neurons start firing a little better. When you learn something new, it keeps you engaged, focused on the present moment which is amazing for your brain and lowers stress, tension or anxiety.
Reason 5: Create new goals
- I loooooove crushing goals, and I think setting goals for yourself keeps you motivated and its good to have something to work towards. Since I’ve been doing yoga, Ive set a goal for myself to be more flexible, be able to do more headstands and inverted poses. Maybe you want to set a goal in beating your mile time, or run the furthest distance, or build a bigger booty, WHATEVER it is, set a new goal when trying something different! It’ll keep you motivated and intrigued during your fitness journey!
Now with all of this, I’m not saying that you HAVE to switch things up, and staying in a constant, consistent workout routine is going to kill you or make you unhealthy. No not at all! Whatever works for you and what makes you happy is all that matters. I know that for me I like to challenge myself and my muscles now and again because it keeps me interested and motivated to workout. Everyone is different! But if you do find this helpful then awesome :).
“Keep peace in the mind, strength in the body, and love in your heart”