If the lockdowns of recent years have taught us anything, it’s that having the ability to move our bodies however and wherever we like is a privilege. It’s also a necessity.
As we waited out the seemingly never-ending stay-at-home orders, for some of us, physical activity became one of the few escapes from the upheaval.
Long after we got the all-clear to venture back out into the world, many of us continued to workout from the comfort of our homes. It’s faster, more convenient and there’s plenty of variety at our fingertips.
If you’ve decided to keep up a home workout routine either as your main form of exercise or as a supplement to other activities, finding ways to keep it fresh can play a big role in staying motivated.
It can be tempting to stick to the same movements that you’ve always done (cue: push-ups, lunges, squats and burpees). However, the human body and mind thrive on variety. Without it, we become entrenched in the same patterns, limiting our ability to grow and change in positive ways.
If you’re looking for a challenge or you’re feeling discouraged at the idea of exercising in the same old way, why not learn a new movement skill instead?
“Training to learn a new skill has always been something that I’ve really enjoyed doing throughout my life,” said Mike Fitch, creator of Animal Flow. “Whether it’s hand balancing or breaking or skateboarding, having something specific that I want to become better at has added a sense of direction to my training.
“It essentially makes the ‘exercise’ secondary to the goal. It allows you to look at the task you want to achieve and then almost work backwards. For instance, I know that if I want to be able to hold a Tuck Balance, then I need to prepare the joints and tissues of my body to be able to do that. I also have to make sure that I’m working through the proper progressions at the right time so it’s quite intentional. Skills training is purposeful training.”
“Lack of time is one of the most common reasons I hear from people who aren’t doing physical activity regularly,” said Kelie Su, Animal Flow Master Instructor from Taiwan.
“There are so many benefits to be gained immediately from exercise. Even if you only have a short amount of time, a little bit of movement is much better than none.”
The good news is that there’s plenty of evidence that offers support to Kelie’s position. As little as three 10-minute sessions of physical activity performed daily at a moderate intensity is understood to be just as beneficial as a single 30-minute session.
It’s a practice that many of us could find helpful with data showing that levels of physical activity have dropped while sedentary behavior has increased when compared to pre-pandemic levels.
If you’re someone who finds it hard to commit to longer sessions, scheduling movement breaks around your existing commitments can breathe fresh life into working out at home. And even if you only successfully end up getting one or two of your three 10-minute sessions in, it’s definitely better than none.
The flip side of the movement snack coin is a commitment to going deeper as a way to keep your interest high.
Kyle Riley, COO of Precision Health Alliance, explains that for some people, going all in is exactly what is needed.
“Everybody has different motivation needs, much of which is influenced by our biology,” said Kyle. “So whilst small, gradual changes may feel safe for some, it can actually create stress for those who require more variety within their routine.
“Genes and hormones play an important role in behavior. Individuals with more sensitivity to dopamine are likely to be detail-oriented, motivated by personal achievement, and need a deeper ‘why’ to commit to a fitness routine.
“Some others who are influenced by testosterone and adrenaline require more variety, challenge and short-term goals to keep them on track.”
If you’re someone who likes to throw yourself into the depths of whatever you do, then consider making it your mission to immerse yourself into a physical activity that gives you the space to explore deeply yet with plenty of variety.
Learn a new skill
If you’re new to AF, the Tutorials category of Animal Flow On Demand will be your best friend. Featuring over 70 tutorials, each video breaks down how to successfully perform movements from the Level 1 and Level 2 libraries as well as a collection of more advanced moves. We’ve also included a selection of easier or modified options known as AF Deconstructed.
Take a movement break
Once you’ve got the hang of just a few movements, you’re ready to begin following along with Flows. Guided by program creator, Mike Fitch, and a selection of Animal Flow Master Instructors from around the world, you’ll learn sequences of movements that you can repeat as many times as you like. The follow-along Flows allow you to easily get your three 10-minute sessions each day.
Go all in
More than 70 full-length classes are available, covering Flow skills, fluid mobility, strength, and AF Deconstructed so you can focus on different elements of your physical development. If you’re someone who enjoys a more high-intensity practice, check out our Interval classes which are designed to alternate episodes of amplified work with brief periods of rest.
Ready to get started? Get 14 days of free unlimited access to Animal Flow tutorials, flows, and classes. Watch on your phone, tablet, computer, and/or your television! Join our Animal Flow On Demand Facebook community to share your favourite Flows and connect to other Flowists. Sign up now at ondemand.animalflow.com