The workout rut

It is undeniable that fitness and health are life’s very important investments. Working out is deemed the ultimatum of fitness and health is deemed the richest of riches. It is indeed true that working out should be consistent, exciting and voluntary.

For the many benefits that they offer, workouts should be welcomed and not be forced upon. Working out is oh-so-easy if being fit is your livelihood or if you have just kickstarted the fitness journey. However, many find it very difficult to convince themselves to workout. Some set multiple alarms to wake up for workouts, some find thousands of excuses to not workout, and some drag their feet out of their doors.

Forcing yourself to do something is not good and it is definitely not going to last for a long time. This will not fare well when it comes to fitness since being consistent is the key to ensure your workouts are fruitful.

After the initial wave of excitement, eagerness and enthusiasm, you might start feeling a little bored and tired. However, worry not, because this scenario is quiet common and can be easily overcome.

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Stuck in the workout rut? Worry, no more!

The workout rut settles in when you repeat the same type of workout, during the same time of day and at the same place. As with all other aspects of life, your workouts need some colours and variations to keep your enthusiasm level at high. Changing the workout time and place is easy and can be done immediately. The most important and tricky of all, is changing or alternating of workouts. Firstly, you need to know the many types of workouts out there. Secondly, you need to be up for some game.

The types of workouts

Alternating between workouts will prevent the usage of same types of muscles as well as giving a boost to your enthusiasm. In short, your muscles and your mind will be happy.

1. Aerobic training

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Swimming increases the heart rate and is an effective cardio workout

Aerobic training incorporates workouts that causes your heart rate to go high. Cardiovascular activities or popularly known as cardio focuses on rhythmic activities for a sustained period.

Activities such as running, walking, elliptical and swimming, among many others are examples of aerobic activities. These activities involve large group of muscles and are most effective when done for longer than 15 minutes.

Said to be the most effective form of exercise to burn off fat, cardio or aerobic training is also the most common form of exercise among people of all ages. This is because aerobic training can be done anywhere and without any tools.

Alternating aerobic exercises with other forms of exercise will work different types of muscles and improve overall fitness, apart from giving your mind a fresh take on workouts.

2. Strength training

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Adding weights to workouts can be fun and highly effective metabolism booster

There are two types of strength training namely, dynamic strength training and static strength training. Dynamic strength training focuses on strengthening the muscle via full range motion while static strength training involves muscle contraction without any joint movement.

Examples of dynamic strength training moves are sit-ups, benchpress, weightlifting and leg press. Meanwhile, examples of static strength training moves are holding dumbbells above your head and wall squats.

In general, strength training works specific muscle groups against resistance. It also prevents the loss of lean muscle mass due to aging. Have you seen well-defined and toned biceps of a woman well into her 40’s? That’s strength training, right there.

Strength training will also reduce body fat and increase lean muscle. Apart from having a leaner body, your metabolism will be firing away even while you are at rest. This will work well in your favour if you are looking forward to shed some weight and gain some power.

3. Circuit training

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Adding push-ups and other strength training into aerobic training will greatly improve your workout performance and make you stronger

Circuit training is the combination of strength training and cardio activity. Forming an interesting and highly effective combo, circuit training works best to clear workout rut.

Heart-rate elevating cardio workouts are done alternatingly with strength training. For instance, high-knee jogs are done for 30-60 seconds followed by 20 push ups, star jumps are done for 30-60 seconds followed by 20 reps of bicep curls and finally sprint for 30-60 seconds followed by 20 burpees. This whole circuit is then repeated for around 30 minutes to reap maximum benefit.

Besides being interesting, circuit training will also push you out of your comfort zone and help you create a powerful and strong body.

4. Flexibility training

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Having a flexible range of motion will prevent muscle injury. Activities such as yoga are great flexibility enhancing workouts

The word ‘flexibility’ conjures up images of a yogi with one leg up in the air and one leg on the floor with arms twisting at her front. Although it seems impossible to attempt flexibility training, you should invest time to increase your flexibility.

This is because flexibility reduces risk of injuries, strengthen and relax your muscles and provide an overall uplift to your mind.

Tai chi and yoga are examples of flexibility training that can be practised to increase flexibility.

Mix and match, say bye to boredom

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Stay motivated and fit!

Instead of doing the same type of exercise for an hour, three times a week, mixing these four types of workout will greatly benefit you.

Apart from keeping boredom at bay, mixing and matching these workouts according to your needs and taste will make your body strong.

For instance, if you are running for an hour on Monday, try doing a circuit training on Wednesday and one-hour of yoga on Friday.

This will keep you interested and motivated for a long time to come. You will be saying, “Boredom? Workout rut? What boredom? What workout rut?”

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