Did you start out the New Year with a new exercise routine? Hopefully, it’s still delivering the results you are hoping for. But don’t count on that success for long. Find out why, as well as what you can do to keep the momentum going.
At some point, our exercise routine can become stagnant and no longer yield results. Sticking to the same routine can be convenient, but unfortunately, this routine may stop giving you results.
Our body adapts to challenges. Exercise is a stimulus or challenge above our body’s normal daily routine. Eventually, if we are consistent with this new exercise “challenge,” our body adapts to it. So, you can see why changing your routine is important. We need change as our body changes.
Related article: 4 Warning Signs of Exercise Boredom and How to Break Out of It
Why change your exercise routine?
Changing your exercise routine can act as a new motivator. One major reason folks stop exercising is from boredom and lack of results.
When you first start an exercise program you may notice that you lose weight and the exercise “pays off.” You may think that since this routine is working, you’ll stick with it because you’re getting results. After some time, that doesn’t always hold true.
Your body gets used to the routine and consumes less energy. Therefore, fewer calories get used and you may find your weight at a standstill. This can be very frustrating and dropout rates increase because the same results we had at the beginning have stopped. If you change your routine, your body will consume more calories and the weight loss will continue or strength gains will increase if that’s your goal.
How often should you change your workout?
Some exercise experts believe a weekly routine change is beneficial. Normally, every two to four weeks is sufficient. It takes approximately that long for our body to get used to the exercise challenge. Variety is the key to success here. There are so many different ways to exercise. Pick something you enjoy and then vary how you do it every couple of weeks.
How should you change your exercise routine?
Be creative here. If you enjoy treadmill walking, change how you walk every time you get on that treadmill.
For example, on Monday you walk at 2 mph with no incline. The next time you get on the treadmill, walk at 2 mph but increase the incline to 5% grade. Something that simple every time you exercise can be the difference between seeing continued results or boredom.
Another good example of changing routine is using lighter dumbbells and higher repetitions one time, then switching to heavy dumbbells and fewer repetitions the next time. Variety is the key to continued success.
Finally, exercise has three key components:
- Frequency, or how often you exercise weekly.
- Intensity, or how hard you push yourself during that exercise session.
- Time is how long you exercise per session.
If you vary any one of these components every few weeks, the results will keep you motivated and keep boredom at bay.