Hi. On this Wednesday’s fitness notes, we shall try to address the most common that confronts the mind of gym goers and exercisers months after beginning a fitness regime – how do I overcome the plateau? The plateau may in terms of routine itself, the level of fitness, weight or simple boredom. Let’s take a look at some of the options you have that will help you break the wall:
- Mix your workouts: Doing the same exercises every session gets the same muscles in action every turn. After a while, these muscles are on auto-pilot in these workouts. Changing your routine engages different muscles and challenges the body, mind and the workout as a whole.
- Take active rest breaks: When you do feel you cannot go on in any particular week, do not stay off exercise altogether. Instead, plan a non-regimented workout. Go for a walk or a swim with friends or do your yoga.
- Rest: Put enough rest between 2 workout sessions – at least a day. If you work out every day, rotate the muscles being put to stress – upper body workouts one session and lower body workouts the next to avoid overuse injuries. The rest gives enough time for the repair jobs on tissues etc. This is specially so for long distance runners, endurance trainers and strength trainers. Muscle development and building happens in the rest phase.
- Eat well: This is an obvious but important one which we often overlook in the zeal to count calories or lose weight. Lack of the right mix, amount of major food groups proves detrimental to fitness in the long run as we notice we tire faster and eventually lose interest because we find coping difficult. Eating the right quantity and including the right food groups is essential to continuing on the fitness track.
- Vary durations and intensity: Vary your activity as well as your durations. If you run on a day for 1 hour, try and bike the next day for half an hour. The next session could still be a swimming one for 45 minutes and another day elliptical for an hour. This will keep you at different intensities, different body part usage and different durations skirting boredom.
Until next week, train safe!