Staying Motivated to Move More By Changing Intensity
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When it comes to movement, staying motivated is something so many of my clients ask me about. “I get bored doing the same thing all the time. How can I stay motivated to exercise?” I am here to tell you that it is completely possible to add enough variety to your physical activity regimen so you won’t get burned out by sticking with the same old routine.
The key to adding variety to your workouts and keeping movement exciting is to explore new and different ways of moving. Don’t discount anything until you’ve given it a try!
Staying physically active is so important for our overall health and well-being.
First off, let’s talk about what we should be aiming for when it comes to physical activity. The American Heart Association, World Health Organization, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous physical activity each week. So, what does that look like? You can keep it simple and aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week or you can shoot for three days a week for 50 minutes if that works better for your schedule. Whatever you do choose, make sure you are lining up what works best for you and your schedule!
Now, how about adding variety to your movement schedule to keep things fresh and interesting?
Playing with your exercise intensity levels is a great way to do that! Adjusting the intensity of your different workouts keeps your body guessing and your mind engaged. For example, if you’re a runner and knowing you have a great long run to look forward to on Saturday, can help you push through that strength workout on Wednesday that you might otherwise want to skip.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have had to drastically alter our physical activity routine to be more home-based. If you find yourself losing motivation or getting tired of the same at-home workout cycle, exploring new intensity levels can help reinvigorate you and allow you to explore different movements and modalities.
Here are 5 different ways to change your exercise intensity so you stay motivated and engaged:
- Increase your movement pace by going quicker but for a shorter period of time.
This is always a great option for those of us who find ourselves with only small windows of time available in our schedules for a workout. An example of this could be a sprint workout or a great Tabata session. Tabata training is a form of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) includes 20 seconds of hard work and 10 seconds of rest for four-minute cycles. Five rounds of this type of work gives you an amazing 20-minute workout with loads of fat-burning benefits.
- Increase your movement distance by traveling farther but reducing your pace.
For the runners and walkers out there, this is a great technique used to improve your stamina and to train for longer distances like half, full, and ultra marathons.
- Add intervals to your movement by alternating between quick and slow bouts of movement.
This technique is a great way to shock the system and keep your body guessing! An example could be putting a movement cycle together that includes a quick 400-meter row in between sets of tempo strength training. Another great example of this would be a good Cycle class. You will push your aerobic capacity as well as challenge your muscles' time under tension.
- Increase your level of resistance while decreasing your amount of repetitions.
When your goal is to increase muscular strength this is a great way to get the results you want out of your workouts. Instead of sets of 15 biceps curls at 10 pounds of resistance, try dropping to sets of five and find the max weight of resistance you can lift.
- Increase your amount of repetitions while decreasing your level of resistance.
When muscle endurance is your goal, increasing your reps while decreasing your resistance, is a great approach to use. Drop that squat weight to a level of resistance that allows you to increase from five reps to 15 and see how that changes things for you.
How do I apply this to my own life?
I always tell my clients to explore different movement modalities and find the ones they like the most. Knowing how you like to move and workout is always a great starting place. But if you really want to add in variety to your movement, prioritize the types of movement you like most throughout your week, while still including other modalities. Even though they might not be your favorite, other movement modalities pack a lot of benefits like some of those discussed above. When using a combination like this, you reap the most benefits out of your physical activity and always have a workout to look forward to!
If you don’t feel comfortable exploring on your own, this is a great time to look at working with a Personal Trainer. This allows you to try new movement modalities in a safe environment with plenty of guidance on form and technique. Another great option for guidance and a variety of different workouts is to look into some of the different apps or on demand programs like Peloton or Beachbody.
I would love to hear what type of movement combinations are your favorite and if you don’t know what your favorites are yet, I would be thrilled to explore that with you! Schedule a call with me.
Happy moving everyone!
Be healthy, be happy, be you!