Variety is the key

November 23, 2010

For both fitness and nutrition, variety seems to be one of the keys to both getting the most of of it and enjoying yourself in the process.

For example, fitness (as discussed in the interview podcast with Keith Norris) is not a one-size-fits-all solution by any means. For years I did basically the same exercise every week- 2 swims, 2-3 runs, 1-2 strength training sessions and 1 yoga session if I had time.

In 2010, I have become much more interesting! For example, here was my previous week of workouts:

Saturday: Yoga
Sunday: Natural Movement in the park
Monday: Swim
Tuesday: Jog
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Strength training in the gym
Friday: Mini-natural movement session in the park

I’m super excited about my fitness now, because I’m doing a combination of measurable activities (like weights & yoga) that I can compare week-to-week progress on, to more free-flowing workouts, like the natural movement stuff (well even these workouts are measurable, but I’m usually trying new things and working on different systems each time).

Nutrition is the same way. I eat a lot of paleo-style meals, and I really enjoy them. But I tend to do a lot of what’s easy (i.e. ground beef with tomato sauce, mixed veggies, avocado), and I’ve been adding variety lately. For example, my breakfasts tend to be pretty boring- revolving around only 2 or maybe 3 different things that I make. I recently added a new one into the rotation (paleo pancakes!) and it’s giving me excitement to make breakfast again! Getting new, interesting recipes is the key here and there are so many great resources for that now (some mentioned in my last post on the 10 blogs!).

I think this is one of the most important things that the Paleo movement is bringing to the table. In paleolithic days, there was a much more free-flowing approach to exercise, and more importantly, PLAY! Running on a treadmill (or “deadmill”) has no where near as much intrinsic fun as say climbing a tree, or even running stairs! The enjoyment factor is what is going to keep people going, whether it’s a tasty variety of meals or a taking advantage of one’s natural surroundings or simply becoming aware of what activities are enjoyable and which ones feel like a chore.

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