There can be a lot of comfort that comes from having a routine. Knowing what you are doing each morning or afternoon, and having the same routine of yoga stretches before bed can be something that many people crave. And let’s face it, there can be some routines, such as certain exercise routines, that can really be a benefit to you and be a routine worth doing. But just think about a groundhog day situation; what would your day look like if you were to have to repeat it from now on? That is the kind of routine that you don’t want to get yourself into. Variety, as the old saying goes, really is the spice of life.
Changing up your routine and doing different things aren’t the only reasons why you should avoid too much routine. There are actually many benefits to changing routine and doing things differently. If you think about it, anything in life, if it doesn’t challenge you, then it doesn’t change you. And if you are looking for change, especially when it comes to your health and fitness, then challenge is exactly what you need. Something that you do every day may not be a challenge for you anymore. And as soon as that happens, it isn’t going to make the same changes. So here are some of the reasons why trying new things and changing up your routine is always a good idea.
Benefits Your Body and Mind
Our bodies are really good at learning and adapting to change. If you go running for the first time in ages, your body will get used to it as it becomes more efficient so that you can get better and go for longer next time. We sweat to stay cool (or shiver to keep ourselves staying warm). And with all of that in mind, our bodies (and minds) will quickly become used to what we are doing if we do the same thing day in and day out. The benefits won’t be as great when it is always the same kind of thing. So make sure you make your running training go further or your weight training to do more and lift more. Then you will see and feel the benefit of the change.
Sense of Accomplishment
If you’re a parent then you will know just how much children thrive of praise and the joy they face when they do something new for the first time, especially if it is something that they didn’t know they’d be able to do. When you do these new things like run a distance that you’ve never done before or learned how to tie a karate belt, or completed your first Zumba class, you can get such a surge of those feel-good endorphins. Trying new things can be a little scary sometimes, but you can feel so good afterward.
Slows Time Down
There has been an investigation by neuroscientist Dr. Eagleman that shows when studying the brain, that if you are doing things that you are used to, time goes by pretty quickly. When you don’t really have to think about what you are doing, such as your normal routine, then it all zooms by. When you are doing something new that you really have to use your brain and think about, then it will pass by much more slowly. So if you are always wondering why there aren’t more hours in the day, then perhaps you need to be doing more things that really challenge you and make you think.
As has been described, when you get into doing more and more of the same thing when you train or exercise, then your body will adapt at first, but then quite quickly get used to doing what it needs to do to get through your workouts. So in order to push yourself and achieve those goals that you have, whether they be to weigh a certain amount or get your heart rate to a certain level, then you need to change things up (and pretty regularly too). So mix up your training by doing a variety of different things, as well as pushing harder and going for longer when you can.
What are some of your favorite things to do to change up your workouts and try new things? It would be great to hear what works best for you, so we can all break the routine to get fitter, be happier, and achieve the goals that we have.