It makes sense that those who vary their workout have a better chance of continuing to exercise regularly than those who stick with just one form of exercise. Sure, there are exceptions. Everyone knows someone who runs regularly as if their life depended on it. But for most of us, variety is the best choice.
In addition to breaking the monotony of a stale routine, varying your routine can help you achieve your fitness goals more quickly. Muscles can plateau when being worked the same way day after day and exercises need to be changed to continue to challenge your muscles. Also, if you do a variety of exercises, you can achieve a total body workout.
There are two main types of exercises people do – cardiovascular and weight training/muscle toning that targets specific areas. Most of the following ways to work out will fall under one or the other, or be a combination of both.
Walking – Walking is a fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise. By walking either outside or on a treadmill a few times a week for 30 minutes a day, you can strengthen the heart. There has also been a lot of talk about the 10,000 steps a day method. The belief is if you can manage to walk 10,000 steps each day, your body will get a good workout. Pedometers can be purchased inexpensively to count the number of steps.
Running/Jogging – Another fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise, running gives your heart a great workout. By running 3-4 times a week, you can increase the health of your cardiovascular system.
Martial Arts – Karate, Ju Jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing and other forms of martial arts give the body a great work out and teach important skills such as self defense and self esteem.
Weight training – Weight training targets specific muscle groups to tone and strengthen them. This can be done either by using free weights or by working with machines. Weight training is an important part of a varied exercise routine, especially if loosing weight is a goal. As muscles become stronger they increase the metabolism. This helps the body to burn more fat.
Cardiovascular Machines – Treadmills, elliptical machines, stair climbers, rowing machines, and stationary bicycles all are designed to increase the heart rate and strengthen the heart muscle while burning calories. Many of these machines also target specific muscle groups. Elliptical machines and stair climbers workout the muscles in the leg and but, while rowing machines give the arms a great workout.
Jumping – Kids know fun when they see it and jumping rope or jumping on a trampoline is great form of exercise for grownups as well.
Swimming – Swimming is a fantastic total body workout that is very low impact.
Aerobics – Although many types of exercises are aerobic, aerobics refers to a routine of exercises often done to music. In the 1980’s the fitness world went crazy with aerobics classes and although the routines have varied since then, they are still a popular form of exercise.
Yoga – This Middle Eastern meditative exercise targets the body and the mind. Adding a class or two a week can benefit any exercise program.
Pilates – This form of exercise offers a series of controlled movements to strengthen muscles while not building bulk.
Floor Exercises – Sit-ups, push-ups, stretching, leg lifts and other exercises that are done on the floor with no additional equipment can target specific muscles and can be done just about anywhere.
So, how many ways can you workout? These workouts are just a few of the many that can be added to a varied routine.