Routine is good. Routine is safe. We are introduced to routine at an early age, as babies, the repetition is soothing and makes us feel secure. It’s a useful way to manage what could otherwise be an overwhelming amount of choices and options thrown at us in life: stick to a routine and you tune out the distractions, and calmly proceed along your known path, with its known outcome, and that is reassuring. It keeps stress levels down. It can also make you more effective, help you be more organised, as it’s tried and tested, and you’re spending less time exploring different options which may or may not end up as mistakes that you’d have to correct and start again. Put it like that, and it sounds rather robotic though, doesn’t it?
Stuck in a rut?
Most of us have a number of routines that kick in from the moment we wake up in the morning – hit the snooze button twice, have a cup of tea, feed the animals, get breakfast ready for the children, herd them out of the door, school run, errands, exercise…and that’s just before 10am! If you think through your day, you’ll probably be able to think of a lot more. But while some routine is good (for example, we know that regular exercise has been proven to be beneficial to your health), being stuck in a rut isn’t. Mentally and physically, the brain and the body need to be challenged and stretched to continue to develop healthily.
Flexible mind, flexible body
Being flexible enough to change your routine means you are opening yourself up to all sorts of new possibilities. While subconsciously that may feel risky, taking you out of your comfort zone, it allows you to explore other ways of doing things, to learn and discover something that might be better for you. There has been a lot of recent research into brain health and dementia that has shown this – in order for the mind to keep alert and sharp, it needs to keep active and engaged. Keeping sociable, thinking through logic and word puzzles, learning new skills.
The same applies for the body. You’ve seen it for yourself, it doesn’t take long of not going to the gym for you to feel less fit and healthy. The body needs attention too to keep flexible and strong. Some element of routine can be a good thing here, to help you build in a regular exercise programme into your lifestyle. The more you do you of something, the better you get. But that’s also why you need variety, the better you get at something, the more routine and boring it becomes, and your body (and mind) begins to plateau.
Benefit of instructor-led exercise classes
This is why going to a fitness studio that offers different classes with different instructors is so beneficial, as you can vary your exercise routine with different classes, and each instructor has a slightly different style and approach to keep you on your toes! So, the message is: build in a regular fitness programme into your weekly or daily routine, but vary what you do – your body and your mind will thank you for it! Try mixing up the classes you come to at Pure Power Studios, or if you were feeling brave you could even think about training for a triathlon – we have classes to support you through that too!