I AM FIT Philosophy #2 Movement Variety & Skill

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Why is variety of movement so important?

Moving in a variety of different ways and challenging our bodies and minds to learn new skills are critical for many reasons.

First and foremost, playing and moving in a variety of sports, exercises, groups or locations help keep us excited and motivated. If you have ever battled the boredom of the same old exercise routine for months or years, only to feel deflated and stagnant with your progress, you will know what I mean.

We keep doing the same thing, but we don’t enjoy it and it doesn’t inspire that fire in our belly that keeps us going. Naturally, this is not sustainable for anyone and you might quit that exercise routine altogether. Who can blame you?   But what about those feelings of failure and disappointment?

Moving our bodies in a range of ways improves our physical and mental capabilities and therefore our ability to reach holistic fitness.

As we go through the daily routines of life, we move our bodies in the same ways each day. We lift, walk, bend, pull and so on and our bodies become used to those types and levels of daily exercise. We tend to have one side of our body that’s stronger than the other, muscles that are weaker than others, energy systems that are under-utilised and an overall lack of high heart rate activity.

We need to create awareness of where the deficiencies lie and consciously challenge our bodies so that we are holistically fit with a balanced body that works functionally and effectively. We are aiming for each muscle group to work energetically throughout our body, which helps alleviate problems occurring due to imbalances. I am sure you know what I mean; a sore lower back can be connected to weak lower abdominal muscles or lots of heavy lifting makes us strong in the back but does little for our chest, resulting in poor posture and weak shoulders.

The same occurs with our energy systems. How high our heart rates are elevated, has an impact on the body’s energy system. Each energy system uses body fuel – mainly sugars and fats. When we don’t spike our heart rate to a certain level we cannot burn those fuels or get the benefits of re-oxygenating our body and brain. Think about what that means for your body fitness and overall health.

Our remarkable bodies are programmed to efficiently complete repetitive activities each day, with no need to elevate our heart rates. You are basically work fit!

To improve fitness, increase energy, lose weight and burn new fuels, you need to work your body at a range of heart rate levels. This is why a holistically fit person will do stamina, speed, strength and power activities that keep challenging the body to use different fuels and become efficient at higher levels of activity.

A variety of movement keeps a positive attitude alive. When we try new things, move in different ways, learn new exercises or sports and challenge ourselves physically, we are reinforcing to ourselves that we are capable and confident. There is no better feeling than mastering a new movement, improving our strength, increasing the number of reps or being able to run for that little bit longer, further and faster.

Kids are often more confident to learn new skills and try new sports or hobbies. Adults, however, can be less willing to take risks or seek out new activities. Acquiring a new skill and challenging ourselves to master a new way of moving makes physical activity not only beneficial but also fun and exciting.   This helps keep us motivated and encourages us to do it for longer.

Through this determination and commitment to improve and master new skills we develop the ability to persevere even when we feel there is no progress. This requires strength both mental and physical, which is what we really need to develop and value to get where we want to go in life. It’s the sort of stuff we want for our kids but often forget that we also need in our lives. To persevere with a challenge, despite the barriers is when we reveal our true character.

Lastly, variety enables us to experience fun and adventure. That feeling we get when we are doing something you’ve never done before, in a place you’ve never been is both scary but exhilarating and it’s exactly what makes you feel truly alive.

Self-confidence, physical prowess and perseverance to change our mindset, while strengthening our mind and body, acquiring new skills and hopefully some adventure and fun thrown in are just some of the reasons to mix your movements up. Be courageous and creative – just get moving in different ways. Let us know how you get on.