Sport | Columnists
Sean Van Staden
Doing the same thing over and over is a total waste of time and is the height of boredom.
Quite frankly I can’t think of anything worse.
I am not saying for one minute you need to change your exercise routine, gym or sport every day but I am saying, build a three-month game plan that will keep you mentally and physically stimulated.
You are probably thinking: “Well, I am a running and all I need to do is run more to get better for my marathon?”
The same thought process goes through a competitive swimmer’s mind.
A fit runner or fit swimmer doesn’t need another lap or more pool time.
What they need to do is to balance and diverse their routine to keep them hungry for more.
Feed a kid a T-bone steak every morning and every day for a few months and he is going to hate T-bones.
The thought of eating his favourite meal again will cause anxiety and internal stress.
This stress will manifest over time until you change the way you do things.
This analogy applies to continuous monotonous routine.
What both these types of athletes need is a sports science injury prevention, strength and core development programme which will add more value in reducing times and keeping them mentally sane from burnout.
Besides top runners and top swimmers, what can the general population focus on other than another park run or gym session?
Here are some top things to keep you pushing your goals and having fun.
Shorter classes for the modern fitness individual
People just don’t have time anymore especially if you have a family that you are providing for. That is why shorter classes of 44 minutes or less are attended up to 33% more people than longer ones.
Professionals have realised that focusing on a proper smart designed programme that maximises your results is far better than sitting on a bike in a gym for one hour.
Group classes are the way to go
27% of the US population attend at least one or more sessions a week in a 2018 study done by Mindbody.
You join a group of like-minded individuals that are more or less on your level to help you through difficult times and motivate you to push harder but most importantly hold you accountable for arriving on time.
No one likes to train alone and even if you see a big “buff gym oke” by himself, don’t be fooled into thinking he’s training all by himself.
He’s surrounded by mirrors, so to him it looks like he has an entourage checking his every flexed move.
This is something that every woman should do, not only because it teaches you to defend yourself but because it has a HIIT (high intensity interval training) element to it.
It burns fat fast, builds lung capacity, improves mood and self-esteem.
Find your zen
Whether it be yoga or meditation you don’t always have to “push, push, push”.
You can find peace and tranquillity through ancient practices that help reduce stress levels, anxiety and rage.
The perfect time for these arts is early morning when you wake up or after a hectic day at work or sitting in traffic for over an hour.
Mindful african mom with cute funny kid daughter doing yoga exercise at home, calm black mother and mixed race little girl sitting in lotus pose on couch together, mum teaching child to meditate
The future is here for you to try in the comfort of your living room. By strapping on a VR headset, you can transform to a world where you engage with it.
Instead of seeing the back of a sweaty gym bunny in front of you. You are racing cars, peddling on a lake or perhaps strapped to an Icarus machine that allows you to feel like you are flying all the while using your core muscles.
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy then how about being transported to a virtual dance floor where you can either learn the latest dance moves playing to your favourite songs?
Each step you take calculates the number of calories you are burning.
This is gamification at its best and you will never feel inferior on a dance floor ever again.
The world is changing around us.
Why should you have to settle for old school traditional drills, routines, gyms and exercises?
Embrace change and equip yourself with the knowledge to do things smarter in less time with double the impact on your health, fitness and appearance.
Sean van Staden is a sport scientist. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanVStaden or visit advancedsp.co.za.
Last week’s column can be found here.
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