Welcome to week three of 2022, and week three the New Year New You 2022 Fitness Challenge. We made it! If you joined us for week one and week two of the challenge, incredible work! I am so proud of the strides you’ve made towards healthier living this year already.
If you’re new here, we’re on a 6-week journey towards healthier living. Each week, your Sunny team is challenging you to be intentional in a different area of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re just joining us, feel free to jump right in. This week we’re focused on finding balance in your fitness routine.
Establishing a sense of balance and variety in your fitness routine is something we can all work on. While you may have one or two elements of your routine figured out, there’s always something new to add to continue challenging ourselves or to take better care of our bodies.
Below, you’ll learn more about why finding balance in your routine is so important, as well as all the best tips from your favorite Sunny Trainers on how they vary their routines to see better results.
If you’re ready to mix up your routine and see better results in 2022, keep reading!
New Year New You 2022, Week Three: Balanced Fitness Routine
Variety in your fitness routine is likely something you’ve considered. You’ve probably heard stretching is good for you, or that adding strength training to your routine can make a huge difference in appearance and performance in your other workouts. But let’s get real here, are they a part of your current routine?
When it comes to trying something new, it’s natural to be hesitant or shy. Stepping out of that comfort zone may feel uncomfortable, but that’s where all the magic happens. So, let’s step out of our comfort zones together! Learn the benefits of trying something new in your routine, below.
Why is a Varying Your Fitness Routine Important?
We all want results, right? Varying your fitness routine is key to seeing results. Having a routine balanced with all elements of fitness can help you get to those results faster, but also safely. As James King III puts it,
“Varying your exercise routine weekly is important to make sure you balance all basic health components of fitness. So, you must have strength, flexibility, endurance, and you have the mobility and coordination to perform it.” JAMES KING III
Not only is variety important for seeing better progress towards your fitness goals; but it’s also important for the longevity of your fitness routine. When we vary our routine, it allows us to move towards our goals smartly while minimizing avoidable injuries or illnesses that could hold us back. As Sam Candler beautifully puts it,
“While repetition is key to hitting your goals, too much repetition can lead to mental burnout and physical injury. So, switching it up can help things fresh and fun, and keep your cardiovascular and muscular systems healthy.” SAM CANDLER
You can think of mixing up your workout routine in a variety of ways. The first would be to various styles of workouts throughout your routine, as James mentioned above including elements of strength, cardio, flexibility, mobility, and coordination.
You can also think about varying your routines themselves. For example, mixing up the exercises that you do can help you build more strength, in comparison to repeating the same workout with the same set of exercises over and over. Wendie Weldon talks about why avoiding too much repetition in workouts or exercises is so important,
“Balancing your routine with different types of workouts is important because of something called adaptive resistance. So basically, when you start working out and you do the same exercise repeatedly your body adapts to that exercise and no longer produces the same results you were looking for when you first started the workout. When you start switching your workout, your body must readjust and reacclimate to the stress you’re putting on it, and it will start building more muscle.” WENDIE WELDON
So, finding ways to mix up your workouts throughout the weeks and months is important, and doing a variety of workout styles is important too to keep your body feeling healthy and functioning optimally.
How to Create Balance in Your Fitness Routine
Now you know you should establish a sense of balance in your fitness routine, but what should a balanced routine look like? James covers what a balanced routine should include,
“A well-balanced routine touch on 4 elements. Focusing on strength (how much weight you can lift, you know so you can flex on ‘em), muscular endurance (so how many times you can lift things several times, pushups, squats, all of that, as many reps as you can), flexibility (which is more important for how you feel if you’re not flexible, you’re probably going to be in a lot of pain), and cardiovascular endurance (so being able to run as fast as you can, participate in that fun exercise class, being able to go).” JAMES KING III
So now that we know we should include some form of strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility as a part of our training, it’s important to consider how we plan to incorporate those elements into our routine.
While it’s easy to feel passionate about blending our routine, adding in too much all at once can be overwhelming, and be hard to keep up with. I like the visual that Sam gives on how to break down your routine,
“You can think of a balanced routine as a plate of food. Your main workout is going to be your main dish - right? The stuff that gets you to your goals. But the side dish is - those are the balanced things like cross-training - hiking, yoga, lifting weights, running, cycling - all of those are the sides of the main part of your program which is your entree. Together, you have a very balanced plate.” SAM CANDLER
It’s important to distinguish, while cardio, strength, and flexibility are all important elements of your routine, they don’t all have to be the main element.
You’ll have your main workout, which hopefully in week one you were able to discover a movement you enjoyed, that also helps you reach your goals. Then you’ll have your supportive workouts.
Keep in mind, your supportive workouts don’t have to belong or every day of the week. Supportive workouts are something you can do on the side, before or after your main workout, or even on a recovery day. There’s no time limit. Even 5-10 minutes of a supporting activity can make a big impact.
Tips for Trying a New Workout or Exercise
Like we talked about above, it’s not easy to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. But it’s time to be bold and confident here, knowing that your Sunny family is trying something new with you this week too.
To help you find some inspiration, I’ve asked your favorite Sunny trainers their top tips for trying something new. Check them out below!
“When it comes to my weekly workouts, I always make it a point to throw something new into the mix. Whether I take a boxing class, roller skating, or even dancing. That way I’m working different muscle groups [and] my body doesn’t plateau by doing the same things too consistently.” ANNELISA MOODY
“The most important thing to consider when adding something new to your routine is to choose something you enjoy doing. The enjoyment of the exercise is critical to success. I [also] recommend having a beginner’s mindset, if this is something new to you, you don’t have to be amazing at it right away. Allow yourself to move slowly.” SAM CANDLER
“When implementing a new training style to your routine, I recommend starting small. If you’re not big on flexibility, see if there’s a small pocket of time you can include it in an existing routine. So for example, I do my flexibility before or after my routine...I pair it with something easy for me to do, and I recommend you do the same.” JAMES KING III
“If you are jumping into any kind of move, especially if it’s high intensity or a fast-paced movement. You want to work on doing it slower with lighter weights until you know for sure you’re doing it with the right form, and you’re feeling it in all the right places.” ASHTON ROARK
You heard it from the best! Be patient with yourself and let yourself be a beginner when it comes to this new addition to your routine whether it be a training style or a new exercise. Take your time to learn how to do it right. WENDIE WELDON
You heard it from the best! Be patient with yourself and let yourself be a beginner when it comes to this new addition to your routine whether it be a training style or a new exercise. Take your time to learn how to do it right.
And finally, choose something you enjoy, and ways that make sense for you to fit it into your routine. If something is not working for you, don’t be afraid to adjust it to your needs, after all this is about you!
Week Three Balanced Routine Challenge
Challenge: Choose 1 new workout style to add to your routine and do it 2 times this week.
We all know finding balance in our fitness routine is important for our health - but getting started isn’t easy. Let’s be intentional about getting out of our comfort zone this week and trying something new.
Your workout style of choice could be cardio, strength training, flexibility, a new skill, or something totally out of the box. It’s up to you to decide what could benefit your routine and make it more well-rounded.
Imagine how amazing you’ll feel after trying something for the first time and realizing how good it makes your body feel, and that you enjoy the challenge on your body and your brain. You won’t know unless you try!
Use the tips above to help get you started. Once you’ve tried something, don’t stop there. Make an action plan for how to incorporate it into your routine.
Beyond New Year New You: How to Establish Balance in Your Fitness Routine Long-term
This challenge is just a sample of what a real balanced routine feels like. The real challenge is implementing balance into your routine long-term.
I hope that this challenge gives you a better idea of how you want to live differently in 2022 and years to come.
Want some advice on how to keep your routine balanced all year long? I have some tips to help make your fitness routine goals more practical in 2022.
1. Be Practical
When I sit down to plan my workouts for the week ahead on Sunday, it’s easy to get over-excited about my workouts. Because of this, I tend to add more on my daily calendar than is practical for me to do in the sliver of time between getting home from work and putting dinner on the table.
Be practical about how much time you must dedicate to your fitness each night. That way, you won’t get disappointed when you don’t achieve the elaborate plans you set up for yourself that weren’t practical anyway.
2. Add it To Your Existing Schedule
If you’re having a hard time finding space in your schedule to add on something new, find a practical way to add it into your existing schedule.
For example, if you love watching TV with your family after dinner, stretch or do some core exercises during the commercial breaks.
Or as James mentioned above, he adds his stretching onto his existing workout schedule. Which is a win-win. Doing dynamic stretching before a workout can help improve our workout performance and doing static stretching after a workout can help aid with recovery.
3. Assess Regularly
When adding on something new to our routine, we must frequently assess how that new activity is going for us. How is your body feeling? Are you enjoying what you’re doing? Is there a way to achieve that same physical result you may enjoy even more?
Fitness is a journey, and we’re in it for the long haul. When we don’t pause to listen to ourselves, we can miss key pain points and areas of tension that eventually end in us falling off.
Keep in mind, it’s okay to pivot if what you’re doing just isn’t working, or you’re interested in trying something new. It’s not giving up; it’s called being intuitive.
4. Consistency is King
Consistency, consistency, consistency. Let that be your mantra for this week's challenge, and beyond. Some of the little things like regular stretching, strength work, or just getting yourself moving are so easy to let slip.
One of the biggest reasons for this is as humans we enjoy the path of least resistance. That 45-minute run doesn’t sound as fun as peacefully starting your day with a hot cup of coffee, curled up in the sun. So of course, it feels right and good to skip it now.
However, it’s not the one day you skip where you feel the difference. It’s the weeks, months, and years. When you look at your life on a full scale, you find yourself thinking ‘I should stretch more’ or ‘I wish I kept up with my strength training so I could do x, y, z's.
So, be consistent. Find ways to sneak a little more balance into your routine, whether it’s 5 minutes here or 10 minutes there. Those little moments of consistency are what add up to big change over time. Suddenly, you’ll look around you and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
Sunny team, as we go through this challenge, my goal is for you to enjoy the amazing benefits a balanced routine has for your body, mind, mood, and life. I can’t wait for you to get out of your comfort zone this week and feel the rush of satisfaction of trying something new.
Team, this is the year we rise together. We’re a few weeks into the new year, and I know we’re ready for this. This challenge is small and simple by design, and it’s something I know without a doubt that you can do.
Let me know how this week goes in the comments, and don’t forget to share your progress towards your goals by hashtagging #NewYearNewYouNewSunny and tagging us on social media. Let’s go Sunny family!