How-to: break free of your fitness comfort zone
There’s nothing more frustrating and de-motivating than hitting an exercise plateau. An exercise plateau, also known as the fitness ‘comfort zone’ occurs when your body adjusts to regular exercise and stops responding to it. This means that your weight loss stops, your energy levels stay the same and your cardiovascular health stays the same. It’s the equivalent to your body going into autopilot mode. It’s also extremely common, if not inevitable – to hit the fitness comfort zone after you’ve been following a regular exercise routine for a few weeks. Thankfully though, there are a few ways to beat it. Here’s how…
Get fit, differently
It’s time to ditch the same old exercise program and mix up the ways you get fit. If you run the same track at the same speed everyday, your body will eventually adjust, so trick your body by varying your speed and your track. Incorporate hill climbs and inclines into your run or bike rides and switch between light jogging and sprinting in one-minute bursts. Incorporating small, one-minute high-energy bursts into your regular fitness routine is a proven way to get your body achieving results again.
Try different activities
Once a week, switch to an entirely different activity from your normal routine. If you usually jog, try swimming or dancing – if you usually dance, try bushwalking or pilates. Adding an entirely different activity to your fitness program will get your body working on new muscle groups, which will increase your metabolic rate, meaning you’ll start to burn fat again.
If you’ve been focussing exclusively on aerobic exercise, you’ve been doing yourself a huge injustice. Including strength training as part of your regular fitness program is an easy and effective way to push your muscles in a different way and move out of your fitness comfort zone. After your regular exercise, simply add on a few sets of squats, lunges or push-ups and you’ll start to see results again.
Have you fallen victim to your fitness comfort zone? Are you inspired to mix it up a little?