According to the American Council on Exercise, research shows that people who vary their exercise routines can increase their chances of sticking to their regimens and avoid reaching a plateau in training. Following are four additional reasons to change up your workouts and try new fitness activities.
When you do the same workouts, sports activities or exercises over and over again, you’re at a much greater risk for overuse injuries. Some examples include tendinitis, shin splints, stress fractures and heel inflammation. These types of injuries can often take a long time to heal if they go untreated for extended periods of time, which can set you back in your health and fitness goals.
To prevent such overuse injuries from occurring, it’s important to do different workouts that require you to use different muscle groups at different times. That way, the muscle groups that have been used frequently can get a break and other muscle groups can be strengthened to provide balance.
Even if you absolutely love running or doing yoga every week, you may eventually get bored of these activities if you don’t change things up every once in a while and mix in other workouts. Adding some variety to your workout regimen will keep things interesting and help you appreciate your favorite activities even more. You’ll have new workouts and classes to look forward to, which will also increase your motivation to continue working out on a regular basis.
Increase overall abilities
In general, it’s important to choose workouts that provide you with cardio, strength and flexibility work. Also, interval training has become increasingly important to build stamina and more effectively and efficiently reach fitness goals and improve overall performance. Changing up your workouts is in essence cross-training, which is critical to becoming a balanced and well-rounded athlete. If you’re training for a marathon, triathlon or century ride or play on a sports team, cross-training will improve your performance in these races and games and increase your overall fitness abilities in areas such as strength, balance, speed, stamina, agility and coordination.
Discover communities and workout classes
Trying new fitness activities gives you the opportunity to discover new communities and workout classes. There are so many wonderful communities out there, and you never know which one could really resonate with your personality, goals and needs.
Reena Vokoun is founder of the Los Altos-based Passion Fit, a health, wellness and fitness lifestyle company. Passion Fit offers online courses, one-on-one or group wellness consulting, activewear, wellness retreats, workshops and speaking engagements, videos, a blog and local fitness and dance classes 9 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at Areté Dance Center in Los Altos. For more information, visit passionfit.com.