Just for the Health of It

Columnist: ‘Keep it fresh’

I get extremely annoyed with radio stations, especially the ones that claim to play “all the hits all the time.”  You know the stations I am talking about—they play the same ten songs once every three hours and then mix in a few songs that were popular ten years ago to supplement those ten songs (although the old songs were played just as repetitively ten years ago).  The point is, the music played on these “hits” radio stations becomes stale extremely fast and makes me want to crash my car into a bridge and let it burn.

For anyone who picked up that reference, bravo!

Because the radio is so stale and frankly, unoriginal, I usually choose to listen to my iPod instead. I load it up with the latest hip-hop and EDM and add in some of my personal favorites as well (I have a soft spot for Taylor Swift). Although I may listen to some of this music one hundred times over, it is personalized and always changing. When a song or album begins to become monotonous, I remove it and replace it with something new. This constant change makes me happy; I feel like my music is progressing and I like that.

This illustration makes sense, right? Why would I listen to the boring radio when I can tailor music specifically to my liking? It is pointless!

It is easy to parallel the above illustration with fitness, specifically the programming that goes into creating a workout each day. Too many times, people do the same workouts day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. Sure, programs take time to accomplish, but any program exceeding 16 weeks creates the risk of the body becoming stale, and overly adapted, to the movements being performed. Not only does the body suffer physically, but the mind may suffer as well—let’s face it, when anything is boring, we are quick to lose interest.  It’s human nature! When so many people struggle with finding the motivation to workout consistently in the first place, does a stale routine give them incentive to go to the gym? Just as the radio’s same playlist does not hold my interest, a monotonous gym routine fails to do so as well.

If this sounds like you, or someone you know, never be afraid to test out new routines. Many resources exist online that layout solid plans for anyone from the gym-goer that is a beginner to someone who is more advanced.

Daily training should be approached like the iPod. Find out what works, and do that more often—just like favorite songs that are played the most on your iPod. When an exercise or program is failing to produce results, change it—cut it out and replace it with something better. Your program should be tailored specifically to you, your training interests, and most importantly, what works best.

This week, if you find yourself listening to the proverbial “radio” of training, switch it up. If you already take an “iPod” approach, re-evaluate where you are at currently, and change anything that should be changed. Just don’t delete the Taylor Swift!