Fitness

3 Exercises to Renew Your Fitness Life

Cary Register

Fitness and Leadership Editor

Are you tired of your same old fitness routine? Are those runs just a little too boring? If you’re anything like me, then your regular routine might not be cutting it anymore. From plateaus to boredom, Changing your fitness routine can renew your relationship with your body and exercise as a whole.  The following are three different forms of exercise that have revitalized and renewed my relationship with fitness.

Swimming

During my senior year of college I started to add swimming to my routine. I have never struggled so much in my life to adapt to the water. I had no idea how tough it was until I swam 50 yards and found myself gasping for breath and my muscles burning. I was no stranger to exercise, and considered myself an adept runner and moderate weight lifter.

Swimming seemed to be the combination of running coupled with intense resistance training. After learning the proper way to swim by a friend, (who was on the swim team) I began to swim more and more. I found the benefits fascinating. After a good swim workout, I had the feeling of a runners high, and the relaxation of yoga. It was as if I had stumbled upon the golden secret of exercise. I could get the physique I wanted while at the same time feeling as relaxed and elated as I did while running.

I proceeded to embark on a year of training and progressed slowly but satisfactorily. In about a month I could swim 500-800 yards which for me was a big milestone. Swimming became my favorite pastime, and the benefits were surprising, the fat melted off , and my muscles elongated and became more defined. Swimming can be a fantastic exercise for someone new to fitness or is recovering from an injury, the impact of the water is almost non existent, and the benefits are well worth the effort. For anyone looking to try something new or change it up in the gym, look no further.

Jiu Jitsu

After I graduated from college, I began to take up Jiu Jitsu. I had spent the previous year swimming and lifting weights, and as a result I felt confident that I could hold my own on the mats. While I was indeed stronger than most, Jiu Jitsu soon proved to be a sport that was dominated by technique and agility. My strength helped, some, but anyone with a mild relationship with the sport could easily overwhelm me and force me to tap out.

I found Jiu Jitsu to be life changing. The classes were physically taxing, and they provided an outlet for my inner desire for combat. The rolling (sparring) was an intense battle that resulted in good friends and satisfaction was incredibly addicting. I lost about twenty pounds in four months, and I felt stronger than ever. Jiu Jitsu provided me with an outlet for my aggressive tendencies, as well as discipline and focus I had never experienced before.

Jiu Jitsu is perfect for anyone who is healthy (i.e. not injured) and looking for a fun way to get in shape. The classes are always different, and the sparring can make you incredibly tough and resilient to pain. I highly recommend it to anyone who is physically able and have yet to meet anyone who honestly didn’t enjoy it.

The physical benefits were two fold, I became stronger and faster. The more I rolled the better I got at using my strength and the faster my reaction time became. I began to feel physically tougher, and my confidence shot through the roof. Jiu Jitsu was and is the best combination of fitness and lifestyle I have ever come across.

Yoga

For me, yoga is something I find incredibly taxing and relaxing at the same time. Anyone unfamiliar with Yoga should absolutely give it a try. Stretching is insanely difficult, and the challenge is that it’s not something you can just power through. Your body sets clear limitations that you can work on, but unlike other exercises, grit and determination is useless when your body just isn’t ready or willing to open up and move past it’s boundaries.

Yoga is very relaxing both mentally and physically. I find the stretching and breathing helps me enter a state of deep relaxation, and after a good session, I feel physically lighter on my feet. I also have experienced Yoga to be incredibly helpful with recovering from wear and tear other exercises have on my body. Anyone new to fitness or looking to add a little variety can’t go wrong with Yoga. It’s a dynamic full body workout, that leaves you in a better mood and your muscles feeling as if they had been massaged by angels.

Any one of these exercises is a great place to start if you’re looking to spice things up or try new things. I highly recommend any one of these or if you can handle it, all of them. Just remember that all three of these are very difficult and that we all start somewhere. Don’t expect to be fantastic right off the bat with any one, but you might find yourself excelling also.

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