Different Exercises are the Spice of Life

What is nearby where you live?  Flat streets and sidewalks?  Hills?  High school stadium or bleachers?  It is good for your body to mix it up when you are exercising. Different exercises are the spice of life!

Runner Example

Here is an example for a runner, my favorite exercise. There are many different types of activities for different settings:

  • Flat streets
    • Tempo run – is a sustained effort that builds your body’s ability up to run faster for extended times. They can be about 20-30 min in length and the pace can be determined by adding 25-30 seconds per mile to your 5K PR (personal record).
    • Long run – is a prolonged run with the purpose of increasing endurance and stamina. They can last for 1-2 hours and are slow enough to carry on a conversation without deep breathing.
    • Fartlek – is a Swedish name for speed (fart) play (lek).  During your continuous run, you speed up or incorporate a faster pace for short periods of time. (Run faster to the next streetlamp, go back to your previous pace, then repeat).
    • Sprint – is running at a top speed.  This burst has more power and can only be maintained for short periods of time.  A walk or slow run can be used between sprints to get the heart rate down.
  • Hills
    • Hill repeat running – is hard but improves leg-muscle strength, develops the cardiovascular system, and can help to improve your speed.
  • Bleachers
    • Running stadium stairs – is an activity like hill repeats and can improve heart and lung functioning, builds strength, and improves endurance.

If you are working on improving your biking skills, you can do similar activities as listed for flat streets and hills on your bicycle.

Engaging in these different activities could be better for the body and have more benefits than continually running the same 3 miles, at the same speed.  Look for a variety of backdrops in your area to incorporate a variety of workouts since different exercises are the spice of life.

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