First things first, I have to apologize for yesterday’s blog post. It was BORING! I felt like I had to get something up on the blog and it’s the holidays and I’m on call this week, so I’ve been freaking busy. But that’s no excuse. It was a seriously boring post about the core components of exercise and how you should be thinking about movement. And while I stand by the information and the concepts, what I left out, and one of the reasons why it was so boring, was the concept of variety.
Yesterday, I stated that your body was designed to move. And it is. But do you really think that it’s designed to move the exact same way day after day?
Think about this…
Do you like to have sex in the exact same position every time?
Do you like to eat the same thing every day?
Do you wear the same clothes, tell the same jokes, etc.…? you get the picture.
We’re human and we like variety. Okay, maybe we also like consistency as well but variety matters, especially when we’re talking about moving your body.
Why Does Variety Matter?
Imagine that you go for a 30-minute run every day. Great. You’re moving your body and that’s awesome. But you’re moving it the same way. Your hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, and calves are getting the same stimulation day after day.
So, when you’re called to say…jump or pick up something that’s heavy, or hell when you’re called to run for 60 minutes, your body isn’t set up to handle that.
We’re Given Bad Information
This is a common theme for me. You’ll hear it often and it’s the biggest reason why I started this blog and my health coaching business. We’re given the wrong information by the media, by our doctors, and by the government health agencies. The right information is out there. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of published studies that support a different way of eating and exercising but we’re stuck in the 1970’s in terms of data and information sharing. It’s stupid.
At any rate….
Generally speaking you’re told to do 20-30 minutes of cardio a day, right? That’s the information that has been passed down. So, you take that information and you run with it. Literally. It’s easiest to hop on a treadmill or an elliptical or a stationary bike and to put in your time. You pat yourself on the back and you go have a post workout snack.
Not only is that 30 minutes of cardio not burning enough calories to warrant a snack, it’s not really doing you any favors. It puts you in a pattern of chronic cardio. Where you work out at an intense rate for too damn long. Your cortisol levels skyrocket. You crave food and calories. You experience weight gain and inflammation.
BUT YOU’RE DOING WHAT THEY TOLD YOU TO DO!
In many cases people decide that maybe they’re just not exercising long enough. They have to burn more calories, so they exercise for 30, 40, 50, or even 60 minutes at a high intensity. And nothing happens. You’re exhausted, hungry, and not losing weight.
Back to Variety
I would argue that it’s okay to do a workout like that a couple times a week. But you have to mix it up. You have to go for long hikes. You have to lift heavy things. You have to exercise at a MODERATE pace most of the time and to hit the intensity once in a while, not every day and certainly not for more than 20 to 30 minutes.
The Bottom Line
Stop doing the same workout every day. Mix it up. Go to yoga today. Lift weights tomorrow. Sprint on your spin bike the next day. Enjoy all that your body is capable of and work all areas of your body. Learn new skills. Try new things. Create a workout approach that supports you to broaden your horizons, to improve your fitness, and to actually lose weight.
Not sure how to do this? Send me a quick note and we can set up a call. I’m happy to help!