Many people exercise. In that group, many exercise regularly. Yet, in that same group, how many recognize the importance for change in their routines? Guidelines for resistance training prescribe a rotation period of 6 week before routine change. Body Weight training programs are progressed by strategic increases in volume (number of reps) Aerobics, to include running, (group) fitness classes, Martial Arts, etc, are progressed through the F.I.T2. formula (Frequency, Intensity, Type, Time aka Duration), Yoga is progressed through time and duration and the poses themselves affect the intensity of the challenge.
Benefits of variety
Variety is the spice of life. Many exercise routines are geared toward specific activities or personal preferences. Some like to run, others participate in group fitness activities, others prefer forms of strength training and other like martial arts. Each of these does (provide) benefits (to the) body. Each can impose biomechanical specific limitations with continued practice. People who do more types of exercise will accumulate more total exercise and address (any) shortcomings in a singular routine situation. In other words, although walking is good, it’s even better to mix walking with swimming, strength training and dancing, for example. Or with yoga, pickle ball and balance/core exercise sessions. Three different modalities might be the magic number. People in the U.S.A. who do three or more different activities per month are more likely to achieve 150 minutes of exercise per week than those doing just one or two activities.
Exercise and the law of diminishing return
As the body acclimates to a series of stressors, exercise results become less effective. Making gains in strength, flexibility, endurance requires a periodic altering of the current regimen. If one does not change their program often enough, their body will fully adapt to the current routine and, as a result, the workout will not represent a challenge anymore. When it stops being a challenge there is no need for the body to adapt, change and grow. By challenging the body, one is able to maintain their ability to stay active, viable and self-reliant. One should be able to do the same activities of their younger years, even if the intensity of those activities has lessened.
Exercise and aging
The aging body needs to endure stressors more so than, if not as much as, a younger, active individual. The aging body can lose 3% – 5% of muscle mass per decade after 30 years of age. Resistance training is a modality through which sarcopenia can be curtailed or nominally reversed. It is critical for the aging body to undergo prescribed exercise related stresses. Some type of physical challenge should become mandatory due to the prevalence of sarcopenia in aging populations. My personal take on this phenomena is that leg strength, core activation and balance must be part of a ‘senior’ exercise routine And yes, it is just as important to rotate the program so that exercise benefits are sustained.
It is important to introduce variety into the exercise regimen. It is critical that the body be made to adjust to induced physical demands. Current society does not require the amount of exertion that was necessary in earlier times. To acquire gains in the particular, chosen modality or to stave off the natural deterioration of the body . . . challenge it. Feel free to introduce some variety into the routine. Variety will break up the monotony and will round out the exercise program.
Just get out there and move . . . . .