The Importance of Exercise Variety
Everyone reaches a point in their exercise lifestyle where they lose passion or interest in their chosen activity, whether it be weights, running, exercise classes, etc. This is the time for either a change in activity or to add to the list of activities. For example, some people just train weights, all day every day, while others just do exercise classes every week. These people are at high risk of a very short physically active lifestyle and must understand on a physiological level, that the body needs variety in order to develop, grow, adapt and become stronger.
There are numerous studies and articles about why we need to lift weights, why we need to do cardio, why we need to stay flexible, and why working on our balance (stationary and dynamically) is so important. So if we know all these facts, then why would someone choose to just lift weights, or just run, or just do yoga? It makes no sense, why limit yourself and your capabilities.
In my opinion, everyone's exercise goal should be ongoing for the rest of their life to decrease degenerative problems and any potential injuries caused by accidents. Why not live a life with minimal health problems and from a financial perspective, spend your hard earned money on a relaxing holiday than on physio or chiro treatments or medication for something your could have avoided.
We must accept the fact that due to evolution, we no longer have to hunt for food, no longer have to do physical labour to grow our own crops, build our own houses, run from predators or even fight for survival. Our bodies are no longer getting tested or challenged on a daily bases to stay functionally strong and in turn efficient and healthy.
I personally lift weights 2-4 times per week, run 5-20km per week, and train kung fu 3-5 times per week. In my experience, I have felt that these activities have given me a good balance, not just physically but also mentally. I cover strength, cardio, flexibility and balance. The combination of Western exercise (gym related) and Eastern exercise (kung fu) has kept things interesting and challenged my so called 'limits' in many different ways.
So if you're currently just lifting weights, chances are your cardio will be no good, and if you're just doing cardio, chance are your'e not as physically strong as you could be. Next step is to spice things up and try a bit of both, or throw in a yoga or pilates class, or even take up a martial art. Variety is the key to a balanced exercise lifestyle, physically and mentally.*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.