We’re naturally creatures of habit and that doesn’t change when it comes to training. In many ways, it’s a good thing as it helps us get into healthy routines like exercising regularly and eating well, but it does then mean we’re susceptible to falling into a training ‘rut’ or hitting a plateau.
The more you like something the more you’re likely to stick to it which is great, but when your muscles get used to a certain type of exercise, the less it’s challenged and will therefore hinder the positive changes you may have been getting at the start. This doesn’t mean if you’re a runner you need to convert straight to becoming a swimmer but simply adding in just 2-3 days a week of a different type of exercise can help challenge and strengthen your body and mind vastly. Step out your comfort zone and book into something you wouldn’t normally do such as a weekly yoga, boxing or Pilates and see how you go. Chances are you’ll feel well and truly challenged and leave inspired to mix up your training schedule for good.
Keen to stick to your routine?
You don’t have to sign up to a new gym or find a new hobby- yes really. Incidental exercise (exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise) such as cleaning the windows, getting a stand-up desk at work or walking up escalators at the train station is a little daily addition that doesn’t take much thought but the benefits soon add up. Getting a fit bit or smart watch is great for tracking your steps and movement throughout the day. The mental benefits of seeing that you’ve done 10 thousand steps when you haven’t attended a workout class that day can give you an endorphin hit and drive you to keep active. You can also set goals and record your workouts so you have something to work towards.
Simply moving more can extend your life by around 4 years! According the the Australian Heart Foundation, partaking in daily moderate intensity exercise like walking can reduce your chances of coronary heart disease by 9% (even more reason to get a dog), improve memory and stimulate feel-good endorphins so however you move, keep moving!
Avoid over doing it
In some cases, with the pressure to ‘do it all’ and always workout, people can start to be prone to injury, not able to give their all and suffer low mood. Overtraining can result in burnout, doing more damage than good. Plan your exercise schedule for the week and be sure to make room for a couple of rest days. Getting adequate sleep and staying hydrated is essential for recovery so make them a priority to keep you in good health.
Lizzie Bland, Trainer & Founder of Lean Bean Fitness
@leanbeanfitnessau | Leanbeanfitness.com
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