An important part of staying active over the long term is stepping outside your comfort zone to physically try new things. It can get boring doing the same class or the same routine or the same workout day in and day out. It’s hard enough being active at all in today’s society, so having a variety of enjoyable activities to choose from will surely make it easier.
That was me last weekend. I stepped outside of my comfort zone by trying yoga. I’d never done it before in my almost fifty years of being on this planet – I know, shocking. I’d just never considered myself a “yoga” type of guy. But as my wife so aptly stated, “What exactly does THAT mean?” and then she forced me to go, and guess what? It was great. I’m glad I did, and I hope to incorporate it into my life moving forward. I’m still an adrenaline junkie, but what goes fast, must also go slow, right? It’s that ying and yang kind of thing. Besides my wife says I have to 😉
You can watch the video here to see how I made out. I think it went pretty well…
Now stepping outside of your comfort zone to do a variety of physical activities can be highly beneficial for other reasons beyond just keeping things interesting.
You will get to know yourself and your body better. Being physical in a variety of ways allows you to know what it’s like when different stimuli is placed upon it. Each thing will illicit a certain response which you will feel. And the more things you feel happening to your body, the better position you’ll be in to know when something feels bad/wrong on an everyday basis.
It helps with injury prevention. The more ways your body knows how to move, or has EXPERIENCED movement, the better off you will be. As injury typically happens when your body is put into an unfamiliar position and it reacts negatively, the more active you are in a variety of ways, the more your body will recognize and be able to cope with all kinds of different movements. It’ll say, “Oh, I’ve been here and felt that position before. It’s all good. I’m fine.” And you will be.
It’ll boost your confidence. Trying new physical activities can help to boost your confidence in a few ways. One, the more active you are overall, the more physically capable you will be, the more of anything you will be able do, and the better you will likely feel about life and yourself overall.
Not only will you feel better, but being more active will probably positively change how your body looks as well. Also, trying a new thing and feeling good about it, creates that positive feedback cycle that we all need to feel happy and content. That being said, try to set yourself up for success. If you are trying something new – especially if it’s something challenging – be sure to give yourself permission to proceed in baby steps. If you think you are going to go rock climbing and scale a giant cliff right away, you may end up coming away disappointed. Plan for small steps to success for better outcomes and a more satisfying journey.
So there you have it, a few reasons why stepping outside your comfort zone physically is beneficial for your health. I hope this information helps you on your journey to a healthier, more mobile and injury-free life.
That’s been a word from me (Dr. Chris) – #notyoureverydayortho