Have you heard of the dreaded workout plateau in weight loss? Maybe you yourself have experienced one. A weight loss plateau is when you stop losing weight, often when you think you are doing everything right.
Similarly, exercise plateaus are also possible. You might become so good at what you are doing that you become more efficient – which means that you are burning fewer calories while doing the same thing.
Another type of plateau can happen if you start to lose motivation. You might get bored or not feel as though you are getting the results you deserve, and those negative feelings can make it harder to get active.
There are some ways you can work to get over workout plateaus, and they are actually pretty simple!
Here are some ideas for breaking through.
- Go longer or harder. If you are burning fewer calories doing the same thing, bump up the time and/or intensity, and you will burn more calories. The good news is that now you are in better shape and can handle the increase.
- Try something new. Cycle if you normally walk, or take an exercise class if you usually work out on your own. The new challenges can be fun, and you may discover muscles that you never knew you had.
- Consider the “extras.” You may find yourself more energetic and readier to hit the gym or pound the pavement when you sleep enough, hydrate properly, and eat well.
- Set a goal. You might decide that you would like to be able to jog a mile without stopping or to learn a new stroke in swimming. Working towards your goal can motivate you.
- Commit yourself. You might sign up for a 5k run or walk or schedule a rock-climbing trip, for example. Make it something that is a few weeks to months away and for which you need to train
- Make it social. Walk with a neighbor or friend, or sign up for a sports league. The workout buddies can push you and keep your workouts interesting, and the camaraderie can motivate you to keep coming back.
- Take a day off. A regular day or two off lets you rest mentally and physically so you can be excited and ready for your next workout.
- Be patient and persistent. Hard as it is to believe, your workouts are benefiting you whether or not you feel those benefits. Because you are lowering your risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions. You are improving your brain power. The list continues.
- Track your activity. Log your activity with Lark to get encouragement and to be able to see your trends.
The workout plateau can be frustrating, but take heart knowing that almost everyone encounters it at some point, and that it is something that you can overcome.