You’ve been exercising for months, and maybe you initially saw results quickly but are now stuck in a rut. You do not have to accept your current fitness state; you can push through any plateau and reach all your wellness goals. How to feel better is a collection of workouts to keep the body guessing.
Add Variety to Your Workouts
If you are repeating the same workout routine on a weekly basis, the best way to crush your plateau is with a change. For instance, if you always ride the exercise bike for your aerobic workouts, switch to the treadmill, elliptical or stair-climber. The same is true for strength-training routines. When you continuously perform the same exercises, your body adapts and does not have to change, since you are not increasing or changing the stimulus. These can be simple switches such as progressing from a flat bench barbell press to an incline dumbbell press. The key is to use variations so your body has to respond.
Your routine is already mixed and varied, but you’re still not seeing results? Add high-intensity intervals into your workouts to challenge your body, burn more calories, and improve your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. During your aerobic workouts, such as biking, walking, swimming or skiing, add speed intervals to elevate your heart rate near your maximum and then perform an active recovery interval to catch your breath and settle your heart rate. For example, after a three-to-five-minute walking warm-up, increase your speed and jog for one minute at a pace that feels difficult. Then, decrease your speed and walk for two minutes before picking up the pace again. Repeat the intervals five or six times for a total workout. Use this pattern for cycling, swimming, skiing and more. Add high-intensity intervals into your aerobic workout routine two or three times a week.
Intervals for weight-training are often referred to as Tabata training. It uses the same principle of a work/rest ratio, except you do not use active recovery during your strength workouts, and each work interval is only 20 seconds. Often, the best piece of equipment for Tabata strength intervals is your body. A sample workout includes performing a squat for 20 seconds. Use proper form with your feet approximately hip-distance apart and your toes facing forward. Keep your knees behind your toes as you bend your knees and lower your hips into a squat. These are performed quickly for 20 seconds. Then, you rest for 10 seconds. A Tabata interval is repeated eight times, and you will feel the burn. Add other exercises into this routine, such as burpees, push-ups, Russian twists, box jumps and planks with a punch. You can use your favorite exercises, and with the short 20-second intervals, push past your plateaus. Try a Tabata workout once a week at first to see and feel the difference.
Add Consistency To your Workouts
The key to success is being consistent. Do not let your lack of progress be a barrier to your success. Plenty of changes are occurring beneath the surface to improve your health. You can teach your body how to feel better if you stay consistent and continue on your path.