So we are three weeks into a new year and a new you…Way to go! But, take a moment to realize that it is time to shake things up again…already! Repeating the same workout week in and week out is not helping you get much fitter, says personal trainer Craig Ramsay, author of Anatomy of Muscle Building. “Our body wants us to take the easy road,” he says, adding that muscles will adapt to an exercise program and, ultimately, require less effort to complete it. For better results, always challenge both strength and stamina – that means no magazine reading on the treadmill – and varying what you do from month to month, especially building in what you find difficult.
Most of us know the importance of varying our fitness workouts, so why are we still jumping on the same cardio machines or going for the same three-mile jogs around the neighborhood? “We love routines,” says Robert Sherman, a master trainer for Reebok University. But workout routines are eventual dead ends: results peter out along with our interest and muscles used the same way day in and day out can lead to injury. If you have a program that keeps surprising and taxing your body, you can avoid those plateaus — not to mention keep your fitness workouts from getting stale and boring. So if you normally run, try swimming. If you’re a yoga fan, switch to some weight training. Variety is the spice of life – even your muscles know that!