Best Ways to Overcome an Exercise Rut
Of course, having an exercise routine is great; you can get into the same habits each day, each week, and ensure you remain fit and healthy. However, sometimes routines can become mundane and more significantly, can cause your fitness to plateau because your body is too accustomed to the training and is no longer challenged by it! This is more like an exercise rut than a routine. Remember the famous Albert Einstein quote? “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you’re bored with your workouts or simply not motivated anymore, here are some top tips on how to get out of an exercise rut.
Change your tunes
Time to get on Spotify, YouTube, or even buy some new CD’s or dare I say cassettes, if you’re still into that! The songs pumping through your headphones, if the right kind of songs, can have pretty powerful effects when training. Music can help improve our energy efficiency and help us push through the hardest moment of our fitness routines. Research has shown the faster the beat, the more intense the workout, and syncing the beat of the songs to the movements in the training session can also improve your workout!
Train with a friend
Working out with a partner can have a huge variety of positive effects on us. Firstly, we’re less likely to bail on our workout if there is someone depending on us! Not only this, but exercise becomes more fun as you try different things together, and the healthy competition of training with someone else has been proven to significantly increase our motivation levels while working out (especially if that partner is slightly fitter than you).
Add interval training
Slow and steady doesn’t win the race to fitness I’m afraid. Why not inject some more intense sessions into your training, either with sprint intervals in endurance sports or supersets in the gym? Studies show that just 3 sessions of HIIT (high intensity interval training) can be equally effective as 5 longer, moderate training sessions.
Variety is the spice of life. Cross training, whether it’s mixing up cardio and weights in the gym, or doing more than just running training in the build up for a marathon, can help to keep both the body and the mind guessing. On top of this, perhaps try some non-contact training such as yoga or swimming, as these sorts of activities can be effective recovery techniques for your ‘active’ rest days.
If you work in an office and you go to the gym in the morning or evening, you’re spending pretty much 24 hours a day inside. Mix up your training, try something as simple as running outside instead of on a treadmill, get some fresh air, admire the scenery, guaranteed you’ll feel invigorated and revitalised.
Focus on nutrition
Just because you worked really hard in training this morning, doesn’t mean you can justify binging on cookies and ice-cream for lunch! Nutrition is widely under-valued, but in many aspects, nutrition is more important that the training itself. If you’re feeling tired, unmotivated or unhealthy, consider keeping a food diary to track how your meals may affect performance, or even see a nutritionist for expert advice on how to boost your diet.