Get More Results From Your Workouts
Let’s paint a picture for a moment. You’ve decided to start making regular exercise a part of your weekly routine, that’s great! You begin by taking regular walks with your friends or neighbors, maybe a mile, maybe two. This progresses into jogging, and finally you decide you want to step it up a bit and find a local class. This might be Zumba at a nearby gym, or yoga at a health club. You’re a few months into the routine and while you lost weight initially, you’ve hit a plateau, oh no! Now you feel that all the work you’ve been doing has been for nothing and you think about giving up.
This story is all too common. The good news is that there are simple reasons why this happens and, even better yet, very easy steps you can take to push past your plateau and start hitting your goals again.
The most basic fix for this scenario is to try something new. When you first start a new routine, your body has an adjustment period where your heart rate and muscles have to quickly acclimate to the new movements and strain. This often results in muscle soreness, rapid pulse and feeling out of breath. However after a week or two, these symptoms disappear, you’re losing weight and feeling more toned. Soon you’ll hit your plateau because your body is used to what you’re doing and “decides” it has toned up enough for the task. What do you do? Switch up your routine! If you’re running 4 nights a week, drop down to 3 and swap out night 4 with a simple weight lifting routine, dance class, or other form of cardio. This gives your body something new to adjust to and soon you’ll be back on track.
Ramp up the intensity! If you have seen a DVD fitness program from on an infomercial then you know the intensity increases through the program, typically in 3 or 4 phases. This method is another great way to stick with an exercise plan you love but still continue to reap the benefits. Love doing lunges? Add in 5lb dumbbells for bicep curls as you lunge. Big fan of fast-paced dance cardio? Strap on ankle and wrist weights for additional intensity.
No matter what you do the key is DON’T QUIT! Change up your routine, ramp up your intensity and push through your plateau. Stay committed and remember, your fitness story is a novel, not an article. You’re in this for the long haul and progress comes through commitment.
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