Variety is the spice of life!

Posted by Jenn @ livewellfit on March 16th, 2010
Filed under Motivation, Workouts | 2 Comments »

Hellooooooooo! :)

It's been days and days since we last chatted. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the post on healthy body image. It just amazes me to think of all the many individuals out there who have distorted perceptions of what their body should be or what beauty should be. Take a moment today and look at yourself in the mirror….write down 5 fabulous things about yourself! Whether they are reflected on the inside, outside or BOTH! Embrace all of the amazing qualities that you have within yourself and then show them off to the world.

I apologize for the slight disappearance over the weekend friends. I needed some time away from the computer, my phone, TV and just the craziness of life. It was so nice and now I feel better than ever!

I did a bunch of research yesterday for my next workout challenge. I've decided that the next 4 weeks are going to be all about VARIETY baby! Variety is part of what makes the world go 'round, am I right?

So here is the final plan:

  • Cardio 5-6x each week: 3 Turbo Jam, 2 spinning, 1-2 outdoor activities as the weather improvees
  • Strength training 3x each week: Month 2 of Chalean Extreme
  • Variety choice (fun stuff!) 3x each week: 3 days of the week I will randomly pick a variety choice activity. My selections will be from the following (I plan to grow this list over the month):
  1. Stair challenge: run our 4 flights of stairs 10 times
  2. Bleachers: take a stroll over to Harvard stadium and run bleachers
  3. Yoga: try a new class, DVD or Exercise TV video (20-40 min)
  4. Jump rope: pull out an oldie but goodie for 5-10 min
  5. Push up challenge: drop and give me 20!
  6. Cooking squats: while making dinner
  7. Exercise TV: a fabulous resource with tons of fitness options to try

My list is growing so I will keep adding to my variety choices! Do you have any suggestions? Bring them forward friends! My task this week is to create a fitness/workout page where I can keep track of my workouts and create a growing resource of fun workouts for YOU to try!

So, the challenge begins TODAY! Yesterday was a rest day (much needed). It is positively glorious outside which we deserve here in Boston after 4 straight days of rain, rain, rain so…that means my first variety choice will be some form of outdoor cardio + bleachers! Should be a good one!.

Workout variety

The mind is bored easily, isn't it? In college I did the same workout basically every day of the week. Outside of random intervals of running or walking, I could always be found on the elliptical machine with my magazine and headphones on. After approximately 42-45 minutes I would get off, wipe down my machine and leave. Sometimes I would make my way over to the weight area but that was only to look cute for the boys or something silly like that. :) I know…I know…

I continued this routine after moving to Boston and one day I realized how bored I was! No US Weekly magazine or heart pumping music could change this reality: I was REALLY bored with exercise. I began to run a bit more but it wasn't until I tried kickboxing again that I realized how fantastic and fun exercising can be. Now, some out there like the structured routine that involves the same activity: nothing wrong with that choice! It just isn't me. Do you know how you feel about exercising? Start here. Then come back to us.

Personally, I need high energy, loud and powerful music, fast moves and a lot of entertainment to keep me going in a workout. I have found what works for me! Now that doesn't mean that some days I still find myself bored, distracted or basically a lump on the couch. Usually when I start having workouts like that, I know it is time to spice things up! My body and my mind needs some new variety. Here are some of the benefits that adding variety can do for your body:

  • It is recommended that you change up your workout routine every 3 months
  • Changing up your routine will keep the body guessing and will establish a higher fitness level
  • Variety allows certain muscles or joints to rest as the same activity can be stressful for your body. For example, it is often recommended that runners incorporate some sort of cross training activity in their routine in order to lessen the high impact pounding on the feet, knees and legs.
  • New activities will work your muscles in new ways = higher endurance, strength and power

So, the next question is how or where do we add variety? Do you have to create some bizarre challenge like I did with cooking squats and stair runs? Nope. That is just me being me!

Here are some good places to start:

1. Start with a simple change. You can modify all aspects of your workouts: Time, Frequency, Intensity or Mode (type). Do you always get on the treadmill for 30 minutes? Well, how about this week you either increase it to 40, varying the incline at random intervals OR try a 25 minute workout and push the speed and incline for 5 minute intervals. Simply tweak what you are currently doing. If you increase the intensity, it is always suggested that you decrease the time or frequency in order to give your muscles the chance to recover. Just listen to your body!

2. Get outside. Spring is nearly here and unless you are visiting from New Zealand, you are entering a warmer season. Get out there and enjoy it! The fresh air will give your step more pep alone. Try something new outside like an interval/temp run or walk: establish a comfortable pace after you warm up, then sprint or pick up the pace considerably. Maintain for 1-2 minutes. Return back to your comfort pace for 1 minute. Repeat 8-10 times. Do you live near a body of water? Take your workouts there! You can do a full strength training session outside, using circuits of push ups, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and plank. Try something new out there.

3. Sign up for a race. Have you always wanted to do a triathlon? Well, take the leap friend! Have you been looking at a walk for charity? Now is the time to get that on your calendar. Find something that you have been wanting to do or something that you have a personal desire to accomplish. That is an awesome source of motivation!

4. Be silly + creative. Who says workouts have to follow a prescribed time, place or look? Have fun and move your body! Turn up the music in your home and dance your heart out for 30 minutes. Add things into your fitness routine that don't necessarily look like exercise. As long as you can feel your heart rate increase and that your body starts to sweat, you are gaining the benefit that you are looking for. Get some of your friends involved and find new ways to workout that make you smile. That's what life is about right?

Well, must go attack the rest of my to do list friends. I hope you have a WONDERFUL day and I will see you soon!

No related posts.

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

2 Responses to “Variety is the spice of life!”

  1. Sue says:

    Great post. I also get bored and try to always change up my routine. I do squats while cooking dinner – I put a round resistance band around my ankles and travel back and forth in my kitchen. I also do push-ups, mountain climbers, burpees, etc. The kitchen is not my favorite place to workout but it's a great way to multi-task!

    Love your idea of running bleachers. It would be perfect on a beautiful spring day like today! Enjoy this lovely weather!

  2. Hi Sue!!
    I can picture you walking from your fridge to the stove in your kitchen with the resistance band around your ankles. That is AWESOME! :)
    Soak up this weather…it is glorious!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge