Check your workout routine at the door.
I’ll be the first to admit – I LOVE routine. I function better when I’m in the swing of things and know what to expect. I drink the same breakfast most mornings, eat the same things for lunch most days – I love it. Routines help me and my kids function better. My 1-year-old takes a morning nap around the same time every day, and we are always home for an afternoon nap by 1:30. My kids go to bed at 7/7:30 every night and sleep soundly. (yes, the life of young kids revolved around sleeping) They have been brought up on a routine too and they thrive off of it.
What you DON’T want to be routine though, is your workout. Don’t get me wrong, working out daily is a must, but don’t get sucked into doing the same workout every day. Read through the list to learn why it’s so important to switch up your exercises so you can get your whole body in shape.
Your workouts should excite you, they should be something you look forward to. Routine exercises, like running the same 3 miles at the same pace, can make you really bored, really fast. Have you been on the treadmill, counting down the minutes you have left? I’ve definitely been there. Instead, switch it up. Change your speeds, incline or distance to make a difference. Try sprinting for 30-second intervals or raising the incline for 5 minutes. Interval training is a huge promoter of weight loss and it helps beat the boredom.
Find New Muscles
Bicep curls, squats and crunches are great, but working those same muscle groups over and over will leave out some really important muscles for core stability and overall strength. Educating yourself on new arm/back moves will help to better shape your entire upper body instead of just doing tricep dips. When you are doing squats, try different versions – regular, sumo (or plea), curtsey, split, etc. You are essentially doing the same movement – squatting – but you are working different areas of your legs/butt with each different movement.
Did you know you can actually hurt yourself by doing the same routine day after day? You think you are doing yourself a favor by working the same muscle groups to make them stronger – but you are not! Doing repetitive exercise can strain muscles, and can cause some serious injuries. Give your over used muscles a break by strengthening support muscles. Overall, this will prevent injury and build a stronger, more stable body.
Break Through the Plateau
Routine can definitely cause a weight loss plateau, even when you are eating healthy and exercising. If you feel like your weight loss isn’t going anywhere, try this simple trick: break out of your routine and try something new (exercise, that is). Keep your body on its toes when it comes to working out by switching up cardio exercise and strength training. If you are a constant elliptical user, try a HIIT workout. If you are a runner, give hot yoga a try. The key is to get spontaneous so your body doesn’t become efficient burning the same calories by doing the same movements.
I hope this helps – and gets you motivated to try something new. The weather is getting nicer and there are more and more fun things to do outside! Bike – run – row – swim – the activities are endless!