As your body gets more efficient at any activity, it uses less energy to do that activity. You'll find, for instance, that the first time you walk a 4mph mile, your heart rate will be much higher than when you've done it three times a week for a month. That means you aren't going to get the same benefit from the same effort.
Works the same with all the muscles. They get 'better' and you have to do more to challenge them.
The other side of the fence, however, is that as you build more muscle, most things you do can burn more calories because muscles use more energy than fat does.
You'll always get SOME benefit from any exercise, but we are not static creatures--something is ALWAYS changing.
The nerves and the part of the brain controlling muscle fibers 'learn' and get more efficient at any activity they do regularly.
They work out from experience exactly how many muscle fibers are required to achieve a given effect. And they learn to anticipate corrective forces required to keep you stable and balanced.
In short, they learn to supply the effort required, and no more, and thus get more efficient at any regular activity. And more efficient means they burn fewer calories than the same person doing the same task as a newbie.
Mixing up several different activities means you develop a more balanced all-round fitness, plus doing each activity less regularly means you don't get quite as efficient at that activity.
If you are trying to build any sort of muscle strength variety will be your best friend. Plus I don't know about you but I get bored doing the same thing everyday. I do Pilates most days though I have several different routines that I split between. Sometiems I ride my stationary bike, or walk and I have just added zumba for a great cardio work out.
Fitness Minutes: (36,520)
2,235 12/7/12 1:26 P
Your body will work harder to run a mile when you first start running (or walking), and eventually your body will burn less calories running or walking that mile unless you go faster because of muscle memory. You can either keep doing the same exercise faster, longer or harder to burn the same amount of calories, or you can switch up the exercises to keep your muscles guessing. But if all you do every day is run a mile at the same pace, eventually your body will get used to it and will be burning less calories.
Fitness Minutes: (213,565)
20,960 12/7/12 1:15 P
What a person does for exercise depends on what your goals are. The fact is, when it comes to weight loss, what matters most is what we eat. Good nutrition is what takes the weight off, exercise is what keeps our bodies fit and healthy. You can't outrun a bad diet with exercise. In order to take the weight off and keep it off, a person has to eat right and watch their portions first.
The benefits of exercise go far beyond how many calories a person burns in X amount of time. regular cardiovascular exercise will keep your heart and lungs working efficiently. Strength training will not only help increase your strength, but decrease your risk for osteoporosis by increasing bone density. regular strength training will also help boost your metabolism.
Unfortunately, the Biggest Loser and others rapid weight loss shows have people convinced that they have to do hours of exercise to "burn" calories. Yes, if a person does hours and hours of exercise per day, they will lose weight. However, being able to exercise for hours a day is not a luxury most people have.
Why exercise ? To keep our bodies fit and healthy. Okay, back to your original question. When your body gets used to doing something, that means it has adapted to the exercise. And that's what it should do. the human body should be used to some regular exercise. The problem is that as others have noted, if we want to see increases in strength or increases in cardiovascular endurance, we need to challenge our bodies. push them a bit.
What are your goals when you exercise ? Do you want to be able to do 100 good military style pushups ? do you want to be able to run a mile faster ? If you're trying to improve your over all fitness, yes, it's important to mix up our exercise routine in order to challenge our bodies.
If you're trying to lose weight, watching what you eat is more important. Good health isn't just about weighing a certain number on the scale. It really is about being healthy inside and out and that's where regular exercise comes into play.
Although you want to change up your activities to be fit in all basic areas -- cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility -- and not overwork muscle groups and create pattern overload and muscle dysfunction.
However, your body is a very complex machine and adapts to specific demands placed on it. For example, if you run every day, your body becomes for efficient at running. You consume less oxygen, your heart beats slower, your muscles don't have to work as hard. Soon, the 2-mile run at a 12-minute pace that used to burn 400 calories only burns 350 because your body has adapted to the activity. The doesn't mean you have to stop running, just that you need to progress it to burn the same number of calories when you started.
For example, you could increase your pace, run more miles or incorporate speed intervals. This will shake your body up and it will have to adapt again. There is no set timeline, but it's generally between 4 to 8 weeks that you need to change. You'll know once you hit a plateau for a few weeks. Conversely, you don't want to change too frequently because your body never has time to adapt and make beneficial improvements.
Fitness Minutes: (4,821)
94 12/7/12 11:46 A
Weightloss is about cals in/cals out...it's all about the calorie deficit. It doesn't make a difference calorie wise if you burn it every day from running or every day from jumping jacks as long as the calorie burn is the same.
However, when you do several different exercises, like running and jumping jacks, they use and work different muscles. Doing a different exercise the next day will give your other muscles a chance to rest and repair. Once you do an exercise, your body starts to adapt pretty quickly; doing a variety of exercises will help prevent your body from adapting so fast. So that's why they recommend it...not really about the calorie burn...but more about confusing your body so it doesn't become as efficient (and burn less calories).
Hope that helps!
Fitness Minutes: (2,249)
338 12/7/12 11:17 A
I'm confused by what I've read about the need to mix up workouts to stimulate weight loss because your body "gets used to" a particular type of exercise.
I mean, I understand the need to raise the bar in order to improve fitness -- that's just logic.
But if weight loss is about calories in/calories out, and muscle/fat ratio and metabolism -- how can it make a difference if you're doing jumping jacks one day, running another day, and dance on a third day? Why wouldn't you get the same weight loss by running every day, assuming the number of calories burned is the same as it would be if you did different exercises?
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