Have you ever noticed the subconscious patterns that you do with regard to movements? Think about it: Do you sit the same way on the couch at night? Do you sleep in the same way? Brush your teeth with the same hand each time?
The same is true for the movements you do when working out. Do you have a set sequence that you do every session? Do you stick with, say, jogging and that’s it?
While these actions in and of themselves aren’t earth-shattering, they do create movement patterns that our bodies get used to. And that can sometimes lead to issues down the road.
But the solution is super simple. Just mix it up.
When we vary our movements – be it how we stand when we wash the dishes, or brush our teeth with the opposite hand, or dance instead of walking in the neighborhood – our bodies respond in positive ways.
Switching it up helps keep our bodies more symmetrical. We want to attempt symmetry whenever possible, but we tend to do unintentionally wonky things.
For example, let’s say you sit at your desk with the right leg crossed over the left most of the time. Your hip, back, and thigh muscles on the right side are positioned differently than those on the left. One side or muscle group might become tighter as a result, bringing your body into a more asymmetrical situation.
When it comes to working out, varying our movements gives our bodies a chance to rest and recover. Our muscles, ligaments, and tendons tend to get overused easily when we stick with the same ol’ same ol’. It also helps to keep your exercise time fresh and fun and brings on new and challenging movements for your body to navigate, leading to a stronger you.
Changing your usual routine will help your body in ways that you have yet to discover, so try switching it up. The next time you’re brushing your teeth, give your body (and mind) something new and swap hands. Instead of only jogging, add in some backwards walking or bunny hops.
Have fun with this! And after you’ve been doing it for a while, be a body detective and look for the ways your body has changed.