Not getting results in the gym? Ask yourself these 5 questions

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By Stephanie Mansour

With the spring season comes an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality. And it can be a great time of year to re-evaluate your workout routine, too. Should you move your workout outdoors or stick with the gym? Is your current routine delivering results or are you looking to switch it up with some different activities?

First things first: The old saying “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!” applies here. If you’re enjoying your workouts and seeing the results you’re looking for, there’s no need to switch things up. But if you’re questioning if your workout routine is effective or you’re not enjoying it, we’re going to help you get to the bottom of the issue — and provide some adjustments you can make that will get you moving in the right direction.

1. Am I Bored?

Are you getting bored with the same old routine? Research shows that boredom with any activity can breed dissatisfaction, which encourages people to search for creative change and novelty. As humans, we’re wired to get sick of doing the same thing over and over again — and that doesn’t stop short of exercise!

According to the American Council on Exercise, mixing up your exercise not only increases your adherence to a workout routine, but also may help speed up your results and help you avoid plateaus. Plus, varying your workout activities helps to prevent overuse injuries. Say, for example, you’re a runner. If you have knee or joint issues, switching things up with a low impact yoga or Pilates class a few times a week can help prevent injuries from the constant pounding on your joints.

Just beware of bouncing around from one workout to another too quickly. Take it slow when trying a new exercise you’re not as familiar with to avoid injury. Here are some small ways you can begin introducing novelty you’re your routine:

  • Try group fitness so that you can use other people as a variable in your workout, stay challenged by a professionally-curated workout routine and feed off the energy of a group mentality, which will be a departure from solo workouts!
  • Take a different class. If you regularly go to spin class after work, try hitting the 8 a.m. class once or twice a week. Or if you’re used to taking bootcamp with a certain instructor, go on another day or time to give someone else a try.
  • Switch up your playlist. If you regularly go to a dance or spinning class but are bored of the same music, go to another day or time or instructor. If you frequently head out for a run, refresh your own playlist and add in some new jams that will put a pep in your step.
  • Bring a friend to your workout to spice things up. You may be surprised how much you look forward to a Saturday jog in the park when you can spend it catching up with a friend!
  • Create new goals for yourself so that there’s a different motivating factor behind your workout. Consider signing up for a 5k or joining a sports league this summer (and spending the next few months getting in shape to play!).

2. Am I inconsistent?

I see this issue a lot: people are religiously active on weekends, going on long hikes and bike rides, playing outdoors with their kids, and never missing a Sunday Pilates class. But these same weekend warriors just can’t seem to be as consistent during the week, when work and family obligations always seem to get in the way.

And the opposite can also be true: Some people thrive on the predictability and scheduling of the work week, never missing a workout, but go off the rails with their diet and exercise during weekends, when schedules are more lax. One study published in Obesity Research found that Americans 19 to 50 years old take in 115 more calories (mostly from alcohol and fat) per day on Friday through Sunday than on the other days of the week.

Regardless which boat you’re in, falling into a repetitive trap of consistently hitting workouts for only part of the week and then reverting to unhealthy habits the rest of the time can undo all of the hard work you’re putting in.





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