One of the hardest things to do when it comes to losing weight and getting fit is to embark on the kind of life-changing fitness regimes that involve consistent moderate exercise on a daily basis. If you’re sticking with it, you should be congratulated, as you’re managing a major achievement that not many can do, but you should also make sure you’re taking steps to work out in a safe manner – and that means including enough variation in your workout regime that you don’t accidentally do your body injury or grow weary of doing the same thing every day.
Familiarity breeds contempt
If you’ve embarked on a long-term fitness regime, you know how monotonous it can be if you spend an hour on the treadmill down at the gym every day. If you’re lucky, you’ve got an iPod or other digital music player you can listen to while you pound the simulated pavement, or perhaps your gym has a television screen somewhere in viewing distance of where you’re running, but that’s about it for your entertainment options until the mind-numbing experience is complete.
This is why it’s so important to insert some variation into your gym routine, if nothing else but to preserve your precious sanity. One day of running on the treadmill can be followed by another day of strength training, followed by another of swimming or perhaps a stationary bicycle; anything to cut the monotony is going to make it easier for you to stick to your fitness regime and keep coming back every day for that all-important exercise.
Variety is the spice of life
In addition to keeping your mind healthy and not stagnant, including variation into your fitness regime is important for your physical development as well, as whenever you exercise a group of muscles they need time to recover. Waiting at least 24 hours in between exercising the same muscle groups allows your body to rebuild and strengthen muscle tissues, which is why weight lifters will never work the same muscle groups two days in a row.
The same goes for anyone trying to lose weight. While cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism, burn calories, and strengthen overall fitness, engaging in the same type of cardio every day can lead to muscle fatigue, which is why alternating between different kinds of cardio – running, swimming, bicycling, or using the stair-climber or elliptical machine – will enable you to continue building the kind of cardiovascular health that leads to weight loss without risking your muscle health.
Taking steps to keep your mind engaged and motivated while pursuing your fitness goals is always important, and so is making sure you’re not inadvertently doing damage to yourself in your quest for better overall health and fitness. This is why it’s so important to vary your exercise routine so you can achieve your goals as safely and consistently as possible, so make sure you don’t do the same exact exercises every time you work out!
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Image: dog on treadmill by normanack