An integrative training approach combines various types of exercise such as strength training, cardio, core training, agility, etc. Think of each type of exercise as a spoke on a wheel. Remove one and the wheel will still function, but not at its maximum capability. Integrating various activities and workouts engages different parts of the body. As these muscle groups are exercised individually, the wheel's performance improves as a whole.
Mixing things up can help you breath life into an old routine. Here are some ideas to modify your workout:
- Alter the amount of time you spend on each exercise; switch from reps to timed increments
- For a higher cardio burn, decrease the recovery time between exercises
- Lift heavier weights for less time, or complete less reps
Add a squat to a standard jumping jack and transform an old exercise into a strength-training-cardio-superstar. Adding or changing components of a workout can help you improve your fitness. If you're a runner for example, ask yourself if your routine is helping you achieve your goals. If you consistently run the same amount of miles at the same speed you will reap the health benefits of cardiovascular training, but you may not be challenging yourself or improving your performance. Consider adding speedwork, hill climbs, long runs, tempo runs or fartleks to become a faster, stronger runner.
Make Exercise More Fun
The sky's the limit on what you can do and where you can do it; think outside the box. Take your workout to the neighborhood park, the stadium stairs, the track or the beach. Challenge yourself to be creative. Where can you add in a medicine ball, a kettlebell or a resistance band to kick up the intensity of the exercises you already know and love? Find a Bootcamp, try a new sport or activity, or take Zumba classes. When it comes to fitness, fun is the name of the game.
As a trainer, I have a skewed perspective on what I believe is fun, and this might differ from your definition of fun. Throughout my classes you'll hear me yelling positive-ish phrases like, "C'mon Push...You Got This!" and "Make It Count...Give it Everything You Got!" My cheers are often met with scowls and angry faces. Folks are serious when they're in a state of testing their physical limitations. Remember, you're in an exercise class because you chose to be. Focus on creating the neurological link between the feelings that occur after your workout (e.g. euphoria, achievement, etc) and the moment of actualizing the exercise. The awareness of this link will create subconscious positive associations, and this will keep you motivated to be adventurous with your workouts.
Stay in shape in a fitness class.