Fitness

Exercise the Body; Challenge the Mind

We understand–it’s easy to get into a comfortable routine. You’ve settled into a particular class or workout schedule; you enjoy the structure and know what to expect, and that makes you feel confident when it’s time to workout. But what if you tinkered a little bit? Tried a new workout that you wouldn’t normally try? HINT: there are serious mind/body benefits to embracing new ways to move.

Why switch it up?

When it comes to deciding what to switch up, Kakana instructor Amy Bois says you need to challenge your body. “It’s important to keep your body guessing. Challenge your body to move in different planes, it will help overall functional strength & mobility. Push outside that comfort zone & try something new. That is when you grow.”

“It also helps to prevent plateaus in your overall fitness,” says Amy. So even if you’ve been mastering Crosscycle workouts lately, work on your strength and take preventative measures to loosen up those tight hips and hamstrings with a yoga class. You’ll gain even more strength and power through your next Crosscycle session.

Man in a wheelchair lifting dumbbells over his head. following along to a Kakana class.

The mind will grow

There are mental benefits to trying a new workout. If you’re consistently in the same mindset during your workout, the workout, no matter how good will get stale, and boredom can creep in fast. By moving the body in different ways, the mind must think and react differently. “Challenging our brains — for example, by learning a new skill — leads to actual changes in the adult brain. It may create new connections between brain cells by changing the balance of available neurotransmitters and changing how connections are made,” says Dr. Kathryn Papp, a neuropsychologist and instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School.

It’s not all or nothing

You don’t have to abandon your current schedule or workouts. Every so often mix in a different type of class that you would usually not do. Embrace the change, which will, in turn, create excitement for the classes you have always loved and maybe spark a new joy for something else. And who knows, maybe a class you try becomes a new staple in your routine. With these serious mind/body benefits to embracing new ways to move, you can only help to improve your fitness journey.

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