We all know, whether we admit it or not, that exercise is essential to optimal health. This is the time of year that many will finally make room in their schedule to take on the task of including exercise in their daily routine.
It may also be a good time for you longtime exercisers to evaluate your routine to determine if it is effective in helping you achieve the results you want.
Many die-hard exercisers swear their fitness program is the best around. You see them on the same machines or in the same classes month after month, year after year, never making any changes.
Look for these three signs to see if it is time for you to shake things up:
1. You’re bored: If you’re not engaged by your workouts because you’re sick of the same tiresome routine, create a fresh, new program. Try something you’ve never done before, like a new sport or fitness class, or bring a friend to exercise with you. Attempting new challenges is not only good for you mentally, it’s also a great opportunity to develop physically in different areas of fitness: strength, power, flexibility, core stability and endurance.
2) You can’t stick to it: If your routine seems overwhelming, leaves you constantly exhausted and sore or you’d rather just skip your workout altogether, maybe it’s time for something different. Create a program that’s more manageable for your lifestyle and leaves you feeling good about what you just accomplished.
3) You stop seeing results: If you’re not making progress toward your goals (lifting more weight, running faster, losing Weight, etc.), that’s a good indication you need to switch things up. Tracking detailed information about your exercise sessions (sets, reps, weight, miles, pace, etc.) will help you see this trend more clearly. Lack of results means your body has adapted to your workout routine, and you need to impose different and more challenging demands upon it. This type of plateau generally will take place anywhere from four to eight weeks into a planned program.
If you feel like your routine is a little too routine, 2013 may be the perfect time to engage a fitness professional to help guide you toward a new direction. This new year, give your exercise program a little extra planning and consideration, and you’ll reap many more benefits, getting you more bang for your buck!
Scott Jackson, CSCS, MES, B.S. Physical Education, owner of Scott Jackson’s Real Life Fitness Personal Training Services in Nevada City, is an NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist, medical exercise specialist and an IDEA master trainer. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 530-265-4041 or visit www.reallifefitness.net or the Facebook page for information.