4 Reasons to Mix Up Your Fitness Routine

When you mix up the ingredients in a recipe you can create a new and improved dish. With Mexican food for example, you can transform a tostada into an enchilada by simply combining similar ingredients in a different way. This strategy can also be very effective when it comes to fitness and weight loss. By changing certain components or incorporating different exercises you can add more intensity and revamp an old workout routine.

Workout DVDs like P90X and Insanity have helped people lose weight and build muscle by using this idea of mixing up your routine. These workout programs incorporate the concept of muscle confusion, using targeted exercises to constantly challenge the body to avoid plateaus. Although trainers and fitness professionals have been using this technique for decades, it was relatively unknown to the average exercise enthusiast until recently.

According to Frederick C. Hatfield, PhD. co-founder and president of the International Sports Sciences Association, 5 to 7 hours of cardio per week is the standard recommendation for overall health. But, how you choose to spend those hours will affect the quality of fitness you can achieve.

Do you want to get better results from your fitness regimen? Here are four reasons why you should mix up your routine.

More: 7 Resources to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Adaptation

Adaptation is the adjustment of the body or mind to the intensity or quality of exercise. It's imperative to consistently change your workouts in order to avoid muscle stagnation, and to keep your mind focused and engaged. In some cases adaptation can be beneficial: it can allow a new runner to increase his or her mileage once he or she adjusts to the activity. But adaptation can also be detrimental: when your workout becomes routine and you're no longer challenging your muscles, you will stop making gains and improvements.

More: 9 Tips to Push Past a Workout Plateau

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