Exercise is supposed to bring change, but what if you stop making progress? You do your same workout each day, but, suddenly, your body is burning fewer calories, the numbers on the scale are no longer changing and you’ve hit a plateau. Now what?
What is a Plateau?
For most people, exercise is all about striving to reach your “best self”. You may want to change how you look or how much you weigh. You might want more energy or to feel more flexible. So you start a consistent exercise routine. The first few weeks are exhilarating. You feel the muscles firming up and your waist getting smaller. But suddenly it all may stop. You are not doing anything differently, but progress has come to a screeching halt.
Exercise works because challenging your muscles actually injures them slightly. Your body responds to the injury by recruiting more muscle cells and also strengthening the existing muscle tissue. Over time though, lifting the same weight or running at the default incline stops being challenging enough to promote continued change.
When you do the same exercise all the time, your body burns calories less efficiently as well. If you are working out to lose weight, repetition without additional challenge therefore leads to a weight loss plateau.
Variety is the Spice
The best way to avoid that plateau is to vary your routine. If you run on the treadmill Monday then take a spin class or swim on Tuesday. The variety will keep your body challenged, so your metabolism stays revved and your muscles continue to get stronger.
Pushing through your plateau is not the only reason to add variety to your workout routines. Changing exercise strategies also reduces your risk of overuse injuries. Working out doesn’t stop at your muscles and heart. Repetitive exercise also fails to stimulate your brain. Adding new moves to your workout repertoire means learning new skills. When you engage your brain, you also improve your cognitive functions and memory.
Finally, doing the same thing over and over is, well, boring! It’s just a matter of time before you start thinking of ways to avoid your daily workout. You’ll find that changing things around now and then is motivating and will keep you on track toward your fitness goals.
For inspiration on ways to add workout variety and make continuous fitness progress, visit any Premier Fitness Source store. Our trained professionals can show you a range of options to ensure that your workouts are engaging, efficient and most importantly – successful!