Have you recently overcome an exercise slump? Do you now have a regular fitness routine? Good for you!
Now that you’ve started exercising again, you might want to consider changing things up a bit. No matter what your goal is, our amazing bodies quickly adapt to any movements we do repeatedly and they become less challenging. As our bodies become more efficient at completing these tasks, we need to keep them surprised and working hard if we want to keep seeing results. Don’t let this discourage you! With a little mindset shift and a few minor tweaks, it is easier than you think! I am not a fitness professional, but I would love to share what has worked for me.
- Work smarter, not longer!
High intensity interval training (HIIT) has changed my life! This type of workout is exactly what it sounds like: intervals of high intensity mixed with intervals of rest or low intensity. HIIT is highly effective because in those moments of high intensity you’re pushing your body close to its limit, and this limit is always changing and growing. Because you’re pushing your body so much, the key is to keep these workouts short (30 minutes or less) and intense. An added bonus is that HIIT boosts your metabolism and creates a beautiful afterburn long after your workout is complete! There are many variations of HIIT and almost any type of cardio workout can be turned into a HIIT workout, but do your research and be careful before you begin! Things are about to heat up!
- Strengthen your routine!
Strength training is another area of fitness that has changed my body composition and capability for the better. More importantly, it has changed how I feel! There are many myths about strength training, but one fact that nobody can deny is that it makes you stronger! There’s no downside to that! The beauty of strength training is that it makes any other workout you do even more effective. Like HIIT, it also increases your metabolism and gives you that afterburn. Just remember to start small and have fun!
- Switch it up!
I’m a creature of habit and my favorite physical activity is running outdoors. I actually feel a little sad at first on the days that it’s not on my schedule. However, I’ve learned the beauty and the benefit of incorporating other types of workouts into my regular routine. As I mentioned earlier, our bodies are extremely efficient and adaptable. If we keep doing the same workout at the same level of intensity, we may soon start seeing little or no results or gains. This is why I try to surprise my body and incorporate something new to shake it up at least once a week. Sometimes it’s yoga and a swim. Sometimes it’s trying a new class at the gym. I’ve noticed this habit of shaking myself out of my usual regimen had been great for my overall well-being and happiness as well. It’s helped with my ability to stay flexible and strong physically and mentally.
Diet, sleep, and other daily habits are all things to consider when trying to take your fitness to the next level, but whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. The fact that you have a routine is great! Now choose whatever modification appeals to you, give it a try, and adjust as needed! One change at a time can be extremely effective. Incremental change is lasting change!
What do you do to challenge your body and spice up your workout routine?
*Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net