Workouts: Trying lots of different activities is the key to staying active

Struggling to get enough exercise? Make sure to switch up your workouts to see long-lasting benefits

Woman on skateboard doing unconventional workout with daughter
(Image credit: Getty)

If you're getting sick of HIIT workouts on your living room floor or running the same routes around your neighbourhood, we don't blame you one bit. Even though the gyms are open, the limited capacities and restrictive safety measures are still keeping many people away. 

But don't be disheartened and give up on your new exercise routine: one study shows that by switching up your workouts to try new pursuits, you're more likely to stay active for longer. 

A study published in the scientific journal Translational Behavioural Medicine examined the "multidimensionality" of physical activity across a large group of adults containing lots of different participants of all ages, genders and races. The study looked at both the frequency of exercise sessions taking place, in addition to the different kinds of physical activity taking place.

Unsurprisingly, the most active set were also the group performing more kinds of physical activity. This is known in the fitness world as "cross-training", or developing a broad range of fitness skills.


(Image credit: Getty)

Of the physical activities listed in the study, walking was the most popular, with adults of all mobility levels and demographics walking for exercise. However, there's no reason to stick with just one: the Washington Post reports Americans who did three or more types of exercise a week are more likely to hit the weekly total of 150 minutes, the amount recommended by the US government. 

A long walk on the weekend, a strength session on Monday and a short jog on Wednesday morning would be a great way to mix up your workouts and make your routine more interesting, encouraging you to stick with your workouts and push your limits further. However, this is an opportunity to let your imagination run wild. 

If you've always wanted to try paddleboarding, mountain biking or tai chi, you can now do so while remaining socially distant. Many yoga classes have moved outdoors, weather permitting, to ensure the safety of participants, and you can still do yoga in the comfort of your own home. Hiking has never been more popular. 

walking to lose weight: Merrell MQM Flex 2

(Image credit: Merrell)

At first, the novelty alone might draw you in for an hour's exercise, but the more variety you engage in, the more activities you'll find you enjoy and want to take up on a regular basis.

Give it a try: lace up your hiking boots, saddle up that mountain bike, grab that squash racket or dust off that skateboard. You never know which one will kick off a brand new hobby. 

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