Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Exercise Variety

Sometimes I find myself getting into an exercise rut. I frequently do the same routine of lifting weights, playing basketball, and running. These activities are effective and I enjoy them, but I know it would be beneficial to occasionally incorporate other activities and have more variety when I exercise.

Last year I finally talked my wife into running her first 5K race. She did great and took second place  in her age division. A couple weeks later she filled in for an injured friend and ran the Ragnar Relay. She had previously told me how much she hated running, but after participating in these activities she has experienced the "Green Eggs and Ham" syndrome. I think she's hooked now.

Seeing her excitement for running has made me wonder how many of us would really enjoy or even excel at other activities we have never tried. Variety in our physical activities can be just as important as it is for our nutrition. You don't have to do activities you don't enjoy, but don't knock them until you at least try them once. I used to make fun of yoga until I tried it and realized how challenging it can be.

I recently did a quick poll of Facebook and asked my friends what their favorite activities were for exercise.  Here is what they came up with. I've listed them in order of how popular each response was.

Running (16)
Weight lifting (12)
Hiking (12)
Biking (9)
Walking (9)
Dancing (8)
Basketball (6)
Martial Arts (6)
Swimming (5)
Yoga (4)
Volleyball (4)
Racquetball (2)
Ultimate Frisbee (2)
Tennis (2)
Pickle Ball (2)
Elliptical Machine (2)
Zumba (2)
Workout Videos
Aerobics Class
Horseback Riding
Jump Rope
Wall or rock climbing

I was surprised to see how many different activities they listed and there are still so many other activities that didn't even make the list.

Exploring new sports and physical activities can spice up your exercise efforts and keep you from getting bored doing the same old thing all the time. I challenge you to try a new activity the next time you exercise. You might even find  that you are really good at it and end up loving it.

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