January 22, 2010

Human Hamster Wheel

With the New Year well on its way gyms have been packed with people trying to fulfill their New Year’s Resolutions.

You can walk into about any gym and you will see people lined up on treadmills, stair steppers, ellipticals, bikes and many other cardiovascular machines doing the same repetitive exercise for 45 minutes to an hour. We have always been told that 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day is very healthy for us. While this type of exercise is absolutely healthier than doing nothing, it isn’t as healthy as it could be.

Our bodies are very smart and have the ability to adapt to exercises that are at the same intensity for a very long time. This is basically your body’s way of putting on the cruise control saving as much energy as possible. This is why you see people on the treadmill for 45 minutes, day after day, and yet they just can’t seem to drop those extra pounds.

Unless you are training for a triathlon, marathon or other long distance races, the best possible thing to do while working out is to simply switch up your workout. Stay away from exercise that’s going to be a repetitive motion at the same speed for a long period of time. Keep your body in suspense and don’t allow it to predict what your next move is going to be. Some ideas include lifting weights with 15 minutes of cardio between sets, burst training (alternating sprints and walking) and trying out new classes at the gym.

Remember any exercise is better than no exercise, but if you are looking to get yourself into your best possible shape don’t be a hamster on a wheel!  

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