When it comes to exercise, variety is really a good thing. Changing the type of workout, environment or the people you exercise with will help you stay interested and can help you to make progress with your fitness goals.
Type of exercise
There are different types of exercises. Aerobic, anaerobic and strength training. Mixing up the type of training you do is good for you because different types of exercise have different effects on your body and mind. Take aerobic exercise, for example. This elevates your heart rate for periods of time, such as in the ‘power half hour’. During aerobic exercise, your cardiovascular system is put under much more physical stress compared with doing strength training, such as a resistance band circuit.
Mix up the activity
There are different ways to move within each category of exercise. For example, when you are doing resistance training, changing the exercises and altering the way you do your sets and repetitions helps avoid boredom.
Change of scenery
Another great way to avoid a plateau in your exercise routine is to change where you exercise. Exercise is an opportunity to explore new environments, either outdoors or indoors. I love having a walk with my family outdoors and being able to see different places through movement, either on foot or by bike.
Fitness with a friend
An exercise buddy can bring fresh ideas for training and new places to do it at. Together you can bring others into your fold. Figure out what makes you tick best when it comes to exercise, in terms of the group size, and get into it.
Stepping outside your comfort zone by changing your exercise routine is refreshing and motivating, and stimulates your body and mind. Go for it!
- With outstretched arms at shoulder height, hold the resistance band near the ends. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- With a strong torso, bend at the knees and hips to go into a squat position. Think about pushing your bottom backwards, like you’re sitting on a chair. As you do this, move your arms outwards, squeezing your shoulder blades and increasing tension on the band. Return to the starting position by straightening your knees and hips and bringing your hands back to the centre, relaxing the band.
Front arm raise
- Stand on one end of the band with your right foot. Hold the other end of the band with your right hand at your side.
- Raise your right hand straight out in front of you to shoulder height, creating tension on the band. Lower back to starting position in a controlled manner.
- Hold the ends of the band and place the middle of your foot in the middle of the band. Your toes should be dorsi-flexed (pointing upwards). If balance is not one of your strengths, you can do this exercise while sitting. If standing, engage your core to maintain your balance.
- Point your toes away from you (plantar-flexed), activating your calf muscles. Return to the starting position in a controlled manner.