In my February column, I discussed what it means to be "fit": healthy goal-setting, eating well, and daily exercising.
For some of us, it is hard to commit to exercising on a daily basis. Too often, I observe "big box" gym patrons routinely going through their "program." I use quotation marks, because this is not what a successful fitness program is about.
Gym members often utilize the machine of their choice (treadmill, elliptical or step), sticking to the one that "feels good" because they can watch TV or read the daily news while exercising.
Often I see folks going circuit-style, repeating the same exercises on the same machines, day after day, month after month, with few positive results.
Getting stuck in the same daily grind can stall your fitness progress in a surprisingly short time. Are you pleased with the way your body is changing? Are you getting the results you are after? Is your energy and overall health improving?
If it's not, I suggest you introduce some variety and challenge into your workouts and drop those big gym machines.
You might want to use them sporadically, as a part of your program, but not over and over again, in the same order, at the same load. This doesn't mean that I don't have "big machines" in my training studio. I do. However, your fitness program needs to be diversified!
I believe in "surprising" the muscles on a constant basis. By not getting used to one routine, our muscles respond much better - and faster - to exercise.
The body is smart: it likes to conserve energy. If it encounters another daily grind at the gym, it will expend less energy during your workouts. So, help your body reach new levels of fitness by giving your muscles new challenges, new sets of exercises, frequently.
This is why my trainees say they've never had the same workout with me twice! I pre-plan the sessions and archive them. Before the next session, they give me an update re: how their body responded to the last training, if there are any sore areas, etc. I can then make adjustments and tailor the next session to their specific needs.
Thus, when trainees come to my studio, their muscles have no idea what to expect! It could be anything from Pilates Reformer exercises to kettle bell squats; from balance work to body suspension system training. It might simply be a session of stretching, or a full-blown, cable machine-based workout.
A solid, ever-changing fitness program is what the human body requires for optimal health. Variety is the key to giving you the results you want. Give your muscles a surprise: your whole body will thank you for it!
Magdalena Romanska's "Be Fit Fit" Blog can be read on verdenews.com