Why is variety the spice of fitness life?
We know how it is. You find a group exercise class you like, or you fall in love treadmill workouts. Maybe you’re an avid swimmer or get your buzz from the intensity of spin class. These are all great, and we’re by no means going to say you should stop doing them. But what we are going to ask you to think about, is adding in some variation to your routine. And we have a few good reasons why we feel variety is the spice of fitness life.
Help your training aims
Let’s look at this. Can you think of a professional sport where all you need to do to be excellent at it is train in that exact sport? Probably not. All of the best, all-round sports players have to supplement their training with other styles of fitness. This is so that you are working all of your muscle groups, and so that you are targeting them in different intensities. You want to be exercising your whole body, working your cardiovascular endurance, your muscle strength, your power and your flexibility.
The problem with just doing one form of exercise all the time is that you’ll be missing out on some of these training zones. You’ll also find that you will start to plateau in whichever form of fitness you are training in. Once you start adding in other types of exercise routine, you’ll start to notice bigger improvements in your “go to” fitness choice. You’ll be able to really push your efforts and achieve goals you might have thought were out of reach.
Mental stimulation and motivation
What happens if you eat your favourite meal every day? Or you wear your favourite jeans every single day. Eventually you get bored. You don’t like them as much anymore and you might decide you never want to eat it or look at them again. It’s the same with fitness. If you do the same thing, day in day out, you will get bored. You’ll lose your motivation to work as hard. It will become something you “have” to do, rather than something you “want” to do. If you already have some variety in the types of fitness you involve yourself in, it won’t matter if you decide you don’t want to do something for a while, because you’ll already have other choices ready to go an enjoy.
This will also work best for you in terms of listening to your body needs and your hormones. If you’re not feeling up to something, for whatever reason, you won’t need to pressure yourself into doing it because it’s your only option. You can swap and change around your exercise choices to work with you.
Doing the same thing over and over is more likely to result in injury. You will be putting strain on your muscles, joints and ligaments in the same places repetitively, and not giving yourself the chance to recover properly. As we highlighted earlier, having a varied fitness routine will work different muscle groups. You will build all-round strength and support for your body, minimizing your risk of injury, not just in your workouts, but in daily life as well.
Written by Becky Barrett