5 Simple Strategies For Overcoming A Fitness Plateau
Have you discovered you're beginning to dread your daily workout sessions? Has the novelty of signing up for the gym finally lost its luster? We've all been there: getting off our butts and getting a workout in just doesn't appeal. Sometimes falling into a fitness routine can take the spark out of getting in shape. If we just continue slogging our bodies through the same routines day in and day out, how can we expect results? Here are 5 easy ways to boost your motivation and excitement for working out!
1. Re-define Your Fitness Goals
What are you working towards? Are you building strength? Muscle? Improving coordination? Toning up?
Get clear on why you're spending all that time sweating it out, then write it down. No, really.
Sometimes we get caught on the treadmill of routine (sorry, I had to!) and lose sight of our goals. You're working out on a routine basis doing the same things again and again and sooner or later the sheer monotony of it has you looking for any and every excuse to skip your workout.
Firming up your fitness goals can be empowering and motivating. Maybe your goals have changed. Maybe you need a challenge. Decide where you want to go, then point your running shoe clad feet firmly in that direction.
2. Challenge Your Fitness Parameters and Learn Something New
Remember that kickboxing class you were eyeing? That yoga mat with the tag still attached in your closet? Try something new!
There are a plethora of benefits to attending a new fitness class or trying a new sport. Your body will be challenged in new and engaging ways, you'll meet new people, and possibly even uncover a hitherto undiscovered hidden talent! You may just be a phenomenal rock climber or wake-boarder! But you wont know until you get out there and try.
3. Update Your Workout Playlist
The influence of music on physical exercise has been studied by both doctors and researchers for many a year. Time and again clinical studies have revealed that what you listen to impacts your workout—big time. This is due to a principal called entrainment.
Essentially, this is your physiological drive to match your movement to the beat of the music you're listening to. Music can also alter your perception of the amount of energy you're exerting, making you feel stimulated and energized longer.
What's more, the tempo of your music can up your endurance and workout intensity. The faster and more prominent the beat, the harder your body will want to go. And don't forget: music lessens your perception of exertion, so you'll be getting a better, more intense workout and feeling great about it!
4. Find A Workout Buddy
Yes, working out alone can be a good time for decompression, but it certainly can get lonely.Finding a workout buddy can be beneficial in more ways than one.
First, having plans to workout with a friend can help keep you on track. You'll be a lot less inclined to skip an after-work gym session if you know you'll be letting someone else down too.
Second, having a workout partner can be highly motivating and engaging. You have another person to learn from and keep pace with. You can help push each other to peak performance levels. It's definitely a great way to break up a boring exercise routine.
5. Take Your Workout Outside
We all know soaking in some sunshine is nothing but good news for our vitamin D stores, but what other benefits come with an outdoor workout? Recent research has confirmed that exercising outdoors significantly lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone).
Outdoor exercise decreases tension, anger, and depression, and results in a more positive mental state when compared to that of individuals exercising indoors. Additionally, those conducting their exercise outside were found to exercise longer and more frequently than their indoor counterparts.
So, get out there and get some fresh air! There's nothing quite like sunshine and greenery to encourage you through a workout plateau!
And there you have it. 5 easy ways to bust you out of your fitness plateau and inject the spark of motivation back into your workout routine!
Foster, Carl, Pocari, John, Anders, Mark. ACE-sponsored Research: Exploring the Effects of Music on Exercise Intensity. https://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/805/
Freedman, Lisa. Six Reasons To Work Out With A Partner. http://www.mensfitness.com/training/six-reasons-to-work-out-with-a-partner
The Peninsula College of Medicine. Benefits of outdoor exercise confirmed. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110204130607.htm