The importance of doing something new

Lou Schuler’s “New Rules for Lifting” books should be required reading for anyone who ever picks up a dumbbell. One rule that grabbed my attention was the goal to do something new during every single workout. That may sound overwhelming at first, but it’s actually very achievable.

“The big rule is this: Never do the exact same workout two times in a row. You always want an improvement in something.” – Lou Schuler

Here are 3 big reasons why doing something new is essential to achieving your health and fitness goals.

Progress – If your workout has consisted of the same five exercises every time you have gone to the gym for the last two years, you’re going to stop seeing progress. Our bodies need new challenges so that new adaptations can be made. Sometimes people quit their exercise programs because they are too monotonous and boring. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, aim to do one new thing at each workout. It doesn’t need to be something drastic. It could be as simple as doing a few more reps of an exercise, doing more sets or more weight.

You can also make your bigger changes: Sign up for a kickboxing class. Hire a personal trainer. Pick up mountain biking. Doing new things is essential if you want a healthy body and mind.

Engage your mind – When was the last time you had to study or learn a new task? During high school and college, we were full-time students. From there, we learned on the job or continued learning in graduate school. Unfortunately, many people eventually stop stop pursuing knowledge.

We need physical exercise, but our brains need exercise too. Learning new physical movements like kickboxing, weightlifting or rollerblading engages parts of our minds that you might not use regularly. Training your body and mind to work together teaches you to be more in-tune with yourself.

Accomplishment – When we accomplish something difficult for the first time, we experience a high. Ask anyone who has trained for a race, regardless of whether it was a 5k or a marathon. The accomplishment you feel when you complete something new is rewarding and gratifying. The best part of accomplishing new things is tapping into a dormant part of your personality — the part that believes you can do anything. Maybe you lost your confidence along the way; accomplishing new things can help you get that spark back. As you start to believe in yourself, your confidence grows. You can then take that confidence and apply it to other areas of your life. Confidence breeds confidence.

You can’t change your life without changing what you do in your life. Be active. Try new things. Set a goal to do something new every workout.

Certified Personal Trainer

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