About 8 or 9 years ago, I was a freshman in high school and part of the cross country team. As an asthmatic since my early childhood, long-distance running was something that I never thought I would be able to do. I quit my sophomore year and didn’t step foot on a trail, track, or treadmill again until 2021. I had simply lost my desire for running but thought that I might give it another go.
After that initial run, I found that I still had a knack for distance running and thought it would be a good idea to implement it with my current strength training practice. Changing up your approach to your exercise routine can open your eyes to what you might not be implementing enough of, expose you to a new form of exercise that you might actually enjoy, and also encourage you to push yourself harder as you find that you are capable of doing things you didn’t know you could. Sometimes people wonder “if I do [blank] will it take away from [blank],” Whether it’s questioning if running will stunt muscle growth from resistance training, or if strength training will take away from mobility and flexibility. Truth is, if you approach an exercise type in the hopes of becoming more balanced and well rounded, most of the time the answer to those questions would be “no”.
If you are used to only cardiovascular exercise, you might be missing aspects of:
● Strength building
● Mobility training
If you are only strength training you might be lacking in:
● Flexibility and mobility training
● Cardiovascular training
And if you’re limiting yourself to only mobility or stretching activities, you could be missing out on:
● Strength training
● Cardiovascular endurance building
Individually, each of these methods of exercise have their own benefits and, more often than not, I am just happy to hear that someone is trying their hand at any type of movement. Combining these approaches to your routine can help keep you interested in exercise and keep you exercising longer.
And don’t dismiss the element of FUN! Exercise doesn’t have to be grueling and overly taxing. Elevating your heart rate and moving your body for even a small amount of time has great benefits that you can enjoy. Mix up your routine, try new things, and remember that fitness and wellness is a lifelong journey so you have plenty of time to experiment!