While most of us know the phrase 'Variety is the spice of life', the reality is that we tend to be creatures of habit: eating the same breakfast every morning, sleeping in the same position every night, and rocking that same old trout pout pose in our Facebook pictures.
The same is true of exercise. We tend to find a class we like and then stick with it. The SAID principle in physical rehabilitation and sports asserts that the human body adapts specifically to imposed demands. In other words, if you stick to the same exercise routine, your body gets used to it and won't change.
There's an easy solution, though. By mixing your disciplines in the right way, you can keep challenging yourself, avoid boredom, and ensure that you continue to see results. More good news is that Elixr offers a wide range of exercise options to suit all levels of experience.
Strength training (my personal favourite)
Lifting weights shapes the body in a way that no other fitness discipline can. And building muscle tone and increasing strength creates a feeling of satisfaction and body confidence that's hard to match – I see it in my clients as they watch their waists get smaller and their bums become toned. Just remember: Acquiring the right technique and form for using weight machines, free weights and cables is essential. For optimal results, consult a personal trainer.
Pilates focuses on core strength, balance and breathing, and provides the body with stability and mobility in a controlled environment. I believe this discipline is the foundation for all resistance training, as without a solid base of core strength and stability, injury is inevitable. I've managed a long-term back injury far better since including Pilates in my exercise regime. Elixr offers mat and GRC classes, and I recommend doing both for best results.
Key to our health and wellbeing, cardiovascular exercise works the heart and lungs, with interval cardio (e.g. spin or RFK) being seen as a more efficient way to burn fat than long, slow cardio. Feeling good is just as important as looking good, and cardio is an excellent way to boost your mental health. The runner's high is not a myth, and it's not exclusive to running. Trust me, you're unlikely to see too many unhappy faces coming out of a spin class – although you will see some very red ones!
Yoga builds strength, flexibility and stamina, and maintains a strong focus on the mind-body connection and breathing. My body awareness has increased as a result of practicing yoga and I love the spiritual aspect that many of the Elixr classes provide. I also find that yoga helps me relax in a way that no other exercise can.
The disciplines you choose – and the way you choose to combine them – are largely determined by your exercise goals. Elixr personal trainers are available to customise a varied weekly workout routine for you, and will advise you on which disciplines will help you achieve the results you're after.
For more information: Contact Gráinne on 0405 549 240 or at pt.gráinne@elixr.com.au
With over 3.7 million Australians suffering from back pain, we understand how frustrating and life-limiting it can be...