Humans are creatures of habit-- and your workout is no exception.

It’s easy to get stuck in a routine, heading to the same fitness class on the same days each week, or using the same machines every day. As tempting as it is to stick with what you know, for the sake of your mind and body, it’s important that you don’t. Here are 5 reasons why you need to change up your fitness routine. 

1. Overcome the Plateau 

A fitness plateau occurs when you do the same workouts consistently and your body becomes more efficient at performing those specific tasks. This means you burn fewer calories even though you’re doing the same amount of work. After about 4-8 weeks, your muscles are no longer challenged by the same movements, so it’s important to change up your routine regularly. When you introduce new exercises, your body has to work harder as it adjusts, resulting in more calories burned. 

2. Battle Workout Boredom

Just like your body becomes bored with your workout, so does your mind! Do you find yourself counting down the seconds on the treadmill? It’s easy to get bored, and therefore unmotivated, if you stick with the same routine for too long. It’s a great idea to spice up your workout by mixing up intervals, trying a new activity like biking or swimming, or participating in a group fitness class that peaks your interest. Adding variety is necessary to keeping yourself motivated and enjoying your workouts. 

3. Enhance Brain Health

Exercise is essential to keeping your brain sharp. In fact, exercise is proven to help alleviate and even prevent depression, and enhance memory. Taking a Zumba class, or learning another activity that requires some brain power, is an effective way to keep your body and mind in shape. 

4. Build New Muscles

We all have certain workouts that we love-- and that’s great! But focusing on some muscles and ignoring others can make your body unbalanced. It’s best to do a little bit of everything to tone your entire body instead of working the same muscles over and over again. 

5. Prevent Injuries

A repetitive strain injury is the result of repeating the same motion. Ailments such as runner’s knee or tennis elbow are examples of this type of injury caused by overuse. By mixing up your physical activities, you give those tired muscles, joints, and ligaments a chance to rest, while giving other muscles a chance to grow. 

Ready to try some new activities? Visit your local YMCA for more information on all of the fitness programs we offer.

We have exciting news! Select YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities locations will be offering two new Group Exercise classes-- Defend Together and Active Together. Check out this blog post for more details.