Are you doing the same exercise routine day in and day out? Most likely you’re bored and not getting the results you hoped for. Guess what? Your muscles are bored too- they’ve already adapted to the activity and are at ho hum status quo. Chances are you’ve hit a plateau and your progress has halted.
You have to change it up to get the results you want and to stay committed. The great thing about triathlon is cross training is built in (swim, bike, run), but even triathletes can get in a rut. The solution? Change it up. If you’re not feeling it, forcing yourself into a prescribed workout is not always the answer and can lead to burnout. Substituting a fun activity that you don’t do often is one way to combat exercise ennui.
This weekend, instead of another bike ride, I laced up my roller blades (remember those things?) and rolled out the door. It was quite refreshing and is a great, low impact leg workout that targets different muscles than biking or running.
10 Tips to change it up for better results
- Change your route regularly. If you run / bike on roads, hit the trails. At the beach? Run barefoot in the thick sand.
- Boost your intensity / speed. Add interval training, track workouts or hills.
- Increase your load in the gym. Add weight so that you can just barely do 3 sets of 8 until you’re able to do 3 sets of 12, then up it again. (And no, ladies, you won’t get too big – that takes a ton more work.)
- Alternate exercises. Doing the exact same routine every day may make it easy to go through the motions, but unfortunately that’s all your muscles will be doing too. And you’ll be sacrificing results and possibly inviting injury. Switch out bench presses for chest flys with dumbells, etc..
- Include strength & core training. It will enhance everything you do and help protect you from injury. Not to mention the vanity dividends.
- Get outside. A good dose of Vitamin D, fresh air and scenery will do wonders for your energy level and your spirit.
- Do yoga. Your body will thank you.
- Try something entirely different – SUP, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, wake boarding, rollerblading, soccer, softball, tennis, dancing, limitless options.
- Make exercise time your fun time. What physical activity makes you smile? Starts with S? I meant skipping rope, but yes, of course the other too!
- Cultivate a handful of activity partners so you always have a playmate for different activities.
What do you do to roll out if your exercise ruts?
Kidney stones that is. I’ve had them since I was in my 20’s. A handful in my left kidney, another handful in my right kidney. My 1st stone was relatively small and on the verge of passing. My urologist told me to go ahead with my plans of running the Long Beach Marathon as it would most likely pass during the throughs of it. So it did…
You’ve probably gotten the idea by now that I find being vigorously active outdoors exhilarating. And I count myself as fortunate to have friends who like to share in the fun. Yes, I said, “fun”. I understand that some people, perhaps the majority (certainly, the sedentary majority) think of exercise as punishment. And therein lies one of the greatest obstacles to being more physically active and improving our health. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happens when we think of sugary / fat, high-calorie, low nutrition foods as “treats” or “rewards” and exercise as “punishment”.
I was in a retail store the other day and noticed a poster on the counter: “Donate to cure diabetes.” As I was paying for my purchase, the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate a $1 to cure diabetes. Really???!!! As a medical writer and health educator, I happen to know that when we talk about the diabetes crisis in our country and other developed countries, we are in fact talking about a self-inflicted condition, directly related to obesity and inactivity – type 2 diabetes. Our sedentary lifestyles and excessive consumption of junky, highly processed, high-calorie, low nutrition food are almost entirely to blame.
Day 5, 2014. How are those New Year’s resolutions going? If you’re already falling short, you’re not alone. (I was supposed to be on my 5th blog by now.) According to the University of Scranton, of the 45% of us who make New Year’s resolutions, a mere 8% actually achieve them. So what’s one to do? Instead of making blanket, generic resolutions – be healthier, lose weight, exercise― get specific.
It’s that time of year – whether you face it with humbug or lots of cheer; it’s here. Holidays are celebrated with food and spirits all over the world – not just by us pilgrims.
From now through the first weeks of January, It’s hard to escape the bombardment of holiday party invites and obligations. (Of course, not everybody wants to escape the holiday hedonism.) But we’re all faced with the temptation to over indulge. Today, I’m going to provide some strategies to help keep you on track for holidays. You get to join in all the reindeer games, without the guilt or the dreaded weight gain.
Exercise helps to keep our metabolism up for several hours after we workout. The more vigorous the workout, the longer you burn the extra calories. A new study indicates yet another, surprising benefit of vigorous workouts ―consuming fewer calories!
Or my take on it: moving your body can change your life.
In this Ted Talk video, social psychologist Amy Cuddy reveals research about how our body language shapes who we are. It’s well known that our body language affects how others see us and the conclusions they draw about us. It turns out that our body language also affects how we see and feel about ourselves. For instance, striking powerful, confident poses, even when we don’t feel confident can positively affect testosterone and cortisol levels―increasing actual confidence and decreasing stress.
Came across another study documenting the advantages of vigorous exercise. Specifically, 45-min of vigorous exercise results in an increased number of calories burned for 14 hours post exercise- an additional 37%!
And a study that proves the old adage that drinking water helps with weight loss. Apparently when you drink 17 ounces of water (about two glasses), your metabolic rate shoots up by about 30 percent. Just another reason to work on your hydration. (Talking to myself, kidney stone diva, on this one.)