You’ve been exercising consistently for a few months now and the payoff has been BIG. Your weight has dropped, your biceps are bigger, your endurance has improved, and your pants are looser. Now, suddenly, you’ve stopped seeing results. It sounds like you’ve hit the dreaded plateau. Everyone who embarks on this journey will inevitably hit a plateau. What do you do now? Don’t give up! You can get past it, but you must work harder and smarter. It’s an opportunity for you to refine your goals and strategies. Push through the plateau by kicking it up with exercise.
The solution is NOT necessarily to increase the amount of time you workout. Take a look at the quality of your workouts and how you can change or alter them.
The following are some examples:
1. Walk faster. If you walk two miles in 20 minutes, cut it back to 18 minutes.
2. Increase intensity by walking on an incline. If you walk outside, take advantage of any steep inclines or hills. On the treadmill, increase the grade to 1 or 2.
3. Make your movements larger in a group exercise class. Lift your legs higher, sit lower in a squat, or hold that plank longer!
4. Push your muscles more. Increase your dumbbells from 5 pounds to 7 pounds.
5. Get out of your comfort zone and try a new fitness class. Or, attempt a new challenge like hiking or outdoor biking.
Keep in mind that your goal is to do cardio exercise 4 or 5 times a week for 30 minutes, and resistance training 2 or 3 times a week for 15-30 minutes. If you’re only doing resistance training two times a week, increase it to three.
Increase your daily activity by finding ways to move your body! Take stairs when possible, park your car far away, play soccer with the kids, or walk briskly through the mall with some friends. Everything you do will make a difference.
Hitting a plateau doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Make it positive by re-evaluating your workouts. If you haven’t yet tried one of our fitness classes taught by our fantastic instructors, come check it out! Just step out of your comfort zone and reap the benefits.