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Are You a Creature of Habit at the Gym?

The Fitness Creaturatus-Habitatus, commonly known as the Creature of Habit.


The fitness creature of habit takes on many shapes and sizes. He or she has an affinity for repetitious, mundane fitness tasks, usually done with meticulous attention to detail. Let me describe a day in the life of fitness creature of habit:


She drives to the fitness centre at the exact same time on the same day(s) of every week, and parks in exactly the same parking spot.


The creature performs the same ritual prior to beginning all workouts. He will use the same locker, and assemble his supplies in an orderly fashion before entering the workout area. The water bottle, the music, the towel – no detail is left undone or altered in any way.


Now the creature begins the routine. She hops onto ‘her’ treadmill and programs her usual workout. Thirty minutes at a speed of 3.5, an incline of 2.0 and a time of exactly 32 minutes. She takes exactly 24 sips of water and hangs her towel in the left cup holder. She watches the same show on the same channel.


On the usual strength training days, creature performs the same exercises, at the same amount of weight on the same machines for the same number of repetitions and sets.


Fitness creaturatus of habitatus completes his workout and gathers his belongings. He exits the club and hops into his vehicle to carry on with the rest of his day. His workout took exactly 65 minutes, as usual.


The creature thought things were going well, but he has noticed that in the past three years his body has not changed. He is not stronger, he has not lost any more weight than he did after the first six months, and he is so bored he could just cry.


Does this sound like you? Millions of people have fallen prey to this mundane style of fitness known as ‘boring workout syndrome’ or BWS for short. Thankfully, there are things you can do to halt this mind-numbing workout in its tracks.


Shake it up!!! Try something entirely different. If you always go to the gym, give yourself a week or two off and do outside activities or sports. Go for a hike or a walk. Pull out the bikes or challenge your neighbours to a game of tennis.


Change your gym routine. Vary the amount of time, the type of cardio you do, and/or the programs you run on these machines. Try a fitness class. Hire a trainer so you can have a new strength program designed. Try yoga or karate – step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself, not just physically, but mentally as well. Come to the club at a different time of day! You will be surprised at how different it will seem, and you will see some new faces. A change of scenery can be very refreshing.


If you have lost your zest for working out or it just feels like a chore, don’t wait until you actually quit coming to examine the reason why. No one wants to work hard for months or often years with no improvement. The number one reason people quit their fitness memberships is not injury or even cost. It is boredom. Along with boredom goes lack of change in fitness level and/or body composition. Be proactive and make changes before you become another unsuspecting victim of BWS.


Be a maniac. Throw caution to the wind and put your towel in the right cup holder. Change your routine and you will find that all of a sudden your body and mind become stimulated and responsive. Give it a try – you have nothing to lose but a parking spot!

Nina Heyes


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