Over the past 14 months, online workouts have become a big deal and there are endless opportunities to zoom into all kinds of sessions. There have also been a parade of fitness challenges and I have signed up and participated in many. Today, I want to talk about the challenges of a challenge.
I have come to notice a pattern. As instructors only have a few days or weeks at most, to connect with you daily, they tend to build upon exercises. So, for instance, in a yoga challenge, day 1 may having you doing some forward folds and downward dogs, etc., day 2 will usually repeat them and add on to make it a bit more difficult. Makes total sense. The only problem is, but day 7 or 14 or even 21, your body has performed the same movement over and over…and over again. Sure there are new poses and counter poses, but none the less, some of those moves have been daily and that can be a recipe for PAIN, if you have any area of your body that is compromised. I know my low back starts to act up if I do forward folds day after day.
This really is the same dilemma with a pushup or sit-up challenge, and so many others I have participated in. Our brains and ego might love the repetition and feeling good about getting better at the postures but our bodies…not so much. This is why I am such a huge fan of mixing things up. Whether that is different exercises on different days, or working different body parts, or tweaking your favorite obsession with speed, frequency and intensity changes, these are all great ways to avoid over use injuries.
My recent fitness mode has been swimming. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Sometimes its all back stroking, other times the crawl and most often a combo. Even out walking, one can go a longer distance at a slower pace or a shorter distance at a faster pace…or a combination! You can take different routes and cover different terrains.
There are many challenges set up in a really smart way. One day upper body, one day lower, one day core, etc. Those make GREAT sense and I highly recommend them!
While many of us are creatures of habit, it’s always healthy for the body and the mind to SWITCH THINGS UP. Make THAT your challenge and your body will thank you.