Summer’s over, and whether that is a cause for you to celebrate (hooray for cooler temps!) or dread (where did the sun go?), you may realize that as the seasons change, so do your exercise needs. Any time we switch to a different season, our routines have the tendency to change a bit. When summer’s heat gets left behind, fall’s crisp, cool air invites us to be active indoors and out in different ways.
Since your morning jog no longer requires an ice-cold bath afterward, you may find yourself wondering what else you can add into your routine to mix things up. When we get settled into an exercise regimen, it can feel great—until it doesn’t. The need to add in different things and put others aside is just our body’s way of telling us that variety is where it’s at.
Variety is the key to successful muscle gain and weight loss.
When it comes to the human body, there are millions of ways to move, exercise, and express ourselves. If you are someone who loved a good, long run during the early hours of the summer days, you probably felt great because you were starting your day with some fat-burning, heart-pumping goodness. However, now that we are headed into fall and winter, it might be even more beneficial to give your body a break in favor of a different type of movement altogether.
Performing the same repetitive movements over and over can cause injury and, unfortunately, as our bodies acclimate, we become bored, as well. That is why mixing it up is a great way to cure the doldrums. So, if you are a runner (or swimmer or cycler), adding strength training or other movement into your routine can not only improve your running later but will also help to prevent repetitive injuries and give you a boost in your fat burning potential. On the flip side, if you focus mainly on strength training, adding an element of cardio is going to pump up your workout.
Great ways to mix it up this fall.
No matter what you have been into this summer, here are some great ways to try something new this fall:
Take it all outside. Now that the weather is cooler, use the outdoors as your giant playground. Mix it up so you are hiking, biking, jogging, playing a pickup game, and more. You can even use playground equipment as your gym while you are waiting for the kids to get out of school.
HIIT the ground running. Known as high intensity interval training, HIIT is a one-stop shop for all the strength training and cardio you need. The best part is that you can completely personalize these workouts with movements that work for you, and they are relatively short because of the high intensity. Check out the Hancock Wellness Center schedules for HIIT group classes and more!
Alternate cardio and strength. Another way to mix it up this fall is by alternating your daily or weekly bouts of cardio with strength training. You can even focus on muscle-specific groups throughout the week, performing strength exercises that target your upper back and arms one day and your legs on another, for instance.
Tone things up with Pilates. You may think of Pilates as stretching, but this alignment and strength-based workout is highly effective in helping to tone the body, creating long and lean muscles. It is also a great tool to use to build strength in both the large and small muscles that support your body while performing cardio and other exercises.
Take the challenge with CrossFit. CrossFit takes human movement to the next level with variety at its foundation. This high-intensity specialized workout regimen is perfect if you’re trying to mix up your routine and add in a bit of an extra challenge. If you are a beginner (or even a pro), the Hancock Wellness Centers have CrossFit classes for you!
Strike a pose. Do you stretch before and after exercising? Having flexibility and range of motion is a great way to avoid injury. Head on in to a yoga class for one or more days a week and see how you can benefit from the strength building, increased flexibility, and restful atmosphere. Giving yourself a day of rest with yoga is a great way to add variety to other, more strenuous workouts.
Whether you are ready for fall or not, it is officially upon us. We think that a great way to embrace this season is by changing up your workout routine to beat the boredom before it sets in. After all, your exercise routine should be a fun and enjoyable way to relieve stress.