Currently my husband and I are living in a lovely flat in downtown Richmond. The streets are busy, the nightlife is happening, and our flat is adorable. I think “adorable” and “small” usually fit together quite well, and that is our flat! We were placed here as a temporary living arrangement so that upon our arrival we could look at a variety of flats and locations in the surrounding area. As much as I love walking everywhere and being where the action is, I am looking forward to spreading out a bit and unpacking the few boxes we shipped over to the UK with us. Our move date is this weekend!
With a temporary location and very small living space, my workout schedule has had to be adaptable. I have yet to join a gym because I wasn’t sure where we would be living and how far away the closet clubs would be. This has put me in a position that is actually a good change that I have come to embrace. Coming from a very structured workout schedule due to the classes I taught in Illinois, I didn’t have to think too much about what I was going to do on Friday mornings…I knew I was spinning! Currently, my fitness regimen consists of doing fitness dvds, You Tube videos, Habitude workouts, yoga, and lots of walks and runs outdoors. I can easily get bored and need fitness to be stimulating both mentally and physically. Variety is the key ingredient for me, and I am forced now more than ever to change things up and make it work. Variety plays a huge role in our results, our commitment, and our enjoyment with our workouts. But why else should we change things up?Variety is important because it will decrease our risk for injuries, plateaus, and getting bored. Every morning my dog Wyatt and I walk with my husband out to his parked car. There is no parking where we live, so it’s about a 5 minute walk. Every morning I see the same young girl doing the same jogging route. Every day. Every day. Every day. Firstly, I could not mentally do the same workout every day. Secondly, when I see her, I usually think about something different each time:
Don’t her knees hurt pounding the pavement everyday?
Let’s look at what kind of shoes she has on. Oh Asics! Nice!
She isn’t even wearing headphones!
I wonder how far she has already gone?
I wonder what time she started this run?
Does she lifts weights after?
I wish I could run like her…
That girl is crazy!
If you have the same workout regimen that you partake in daily-good for you! You are committed and have a wonderful habit going. But I just can’t help but think about intensity, pushing the limits, and playfulness. If you think you are good now, adding variety into your routine could make you great!
I had a good friend invite her very fit brother to one of my HIIT classes. The reason folks perceive my classes as hard is because I am always changing things up on them. We allow the body to move in different planes, recruit multiple muscles to work simultaneously providing functional training, and always try something new. Those workouts are always hard for me too! It’s not that they are any harder than doing sprints, cycling for an hour, or bench pressing until you max out-they are just different! At the end of that class I was humbled because my friend’s brother approach me and said his butt was truly kicked. He later told his sister that he needed to write an article on the importance of changing your routine up! I hope I see that come through soon!;)
Just as important as varying the exercises you do, is adding variety into the foods you eat. Too often we get stuck in a food rut not realizing that what we are eating just isn’t working for us anymore. For a time I cut sugar out of my diet…for several months. Even most fruits. My trial did not affect my weight and I felt weaker. I feel better than I did then by eating different fruits, complex carbs (mindfully), and treats like wine and chocolate. Adding sugar back into my diet also made me have less cravings and crashes!
It’s important to treat our food like fuel. Don’t get so lock in on being a vegan, eating Paleo, or cutting sugar out if it’s not working for you any longer. Don’t be afraid of adding variety to your diet to create the perfect combination that your body needs. Nutrition is so complicated; protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotic, prebiotic…we are always hearing about scientists learning something new about food. The takeaway here is that the more varied your diet is, the more likely you are to get the right nutrients in, creating more balanced combinations. I generally think about the foods I have eaten in the past week and then say; Hmmm I haven’t had much orange this week, I think I will have a sweet potato, or some mini peppers and hummus for a snack. Just because we always have a Greek yogurt for a snack doesn’t mean we can’t stray away and have a mango!Once you decided that you could spice up your life with some variety, let your partner know your action plan!