By Paul Dexter, Copyright 2014
Are you challenging yourself?….
It is human nature to allow yourself to fall into a comfort zone- especially with Cardiovascular exercise. It can be boring, and sometimes (if done right) just plain hard. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and force yourself to try new things (even if you don’t like them).
If you normally run, try the stairs. If you normally do the stairs, try Jacobs ladder. You get the drift. Trust me, if you don’t hop out of your comfort zone from time to time. You will become mentally stale, as well as your metabolism.
Your body will adapt to Cardiovascular exercise much more quickly than weight training. If progress is your goal, you must mix it up in the Cardio department. Cross-training will make you more well-rounded in the conditioning and fitness aspect. It will also prevent boredom, and most importantly prevent stagnation.
Let me use myself as an example. How often does anyone see me hop on Jacobs Ladder? I probably used that 3 times over the last two years – I hate it! But, to be honest, I hate it because it’s hard. I don’t enjoy cardio, but when I do it, I like to get the biggest bang for my buck and just do something that will get my Heart Rate as high as possible in the shortest amount of time. So, I usually choose to do HIIT with running. As I stated above, boredom tends to set in with cardio, so I decided to hop on Jacob this week. Thinking that I got in pretty good shape recently by doing 9mph sprints on the treadmill, Jacob wouldn’t be that difficult.
WOW, was I wrong! I only lasted 5 minutes!….not going very fast either, mind you. It just made me realize that I should practice what I preach a little more, and try to mix it up.
If you want to get good at running, then stick to running. If you want to get good at cycling, stick to cycling. But if you want to get in good overall cardiovascular condition, while maintaining a killer metabolism – you have to switch things up, and get good at a lot of things. Challenge yourself on different pieces of equipment. Even if its 10 minutes on 3 different pieces. It will break up the monotony, and your metabolism will thank you for it. The benefits will be ten-fold!