Get Fit & Stay Fit

Signs You Might Be in a Fitness Rut — And How to Break Out of It

Feb 26, 2016

If you are working out regularly, good for you! Exercise is essential not only for weight loss, but for a healthy heart, strong bones and even mental health. But getting caught in too much of a routine can become boring and cause you to hit a weight loss plateau.

Are you stuck in a fitness rut? Here are a few signs it might be time to overhaul your exercise routine.

You spend most of your time on cardio machines.
Yes, a cardio workout burns calories, but you’re missing out if you don’t have a good balance of cardio, strength training, flexibility and core workouts. If you want to maximize your results and really see changes, ditch the cardio machines and mix things up with resistance training. Research shows that a shorter workout with more variety and intensity is more beneficial that spending an hour running or walking on the treadmill. (Not to mention, the scenery isn’t very inspiring.) Get off the machine and do a 15 or 20-minute bodyweight circuit. Think squats, lunges, burpees, wall sits, pushups, jumping jacks, etc.

You’re focused on the clock.
You know you’re bored with your workouts if you spend the time checking the clock after every exercise, rather than getting into the flow of a good workout. If you find yourself easily distracted or looking for excuses to cut your workout short, it’s time to shake things up and try something new.

Step out of your box and try a workout you’ve never done before. Join a recreational sports team or check out a group exercise class at your gym like Zumba, spin, kickboxing or yoga. There really are endless choices when it comes to exercise, and no requirement saying the only way to get a good workout is to go to the gym. Any type of physical activity that gets your heart rate up and challenges your body is an excellent choice.

You’ve stopped making progress.
Has the scale stopped moving? Are you struggling to shave time off your mile run, or can’t seem to hit your target weight? First, it’s important to be sure you’ve set a realistic goal. Consult with a certified professional trainer to help you assess your goals and give you honest feedback. A trainer can also help you develop a structured workout plan to work toward your goals.

Remember, exercise can — and should — be fun! Don’t be afraid to mix things up and try something new. Each day during your workout, focus on something different: cardio, upper body strength, lower body strength, core, etc. Keeping variety in your workout is the best way to maintain your motivation and melt away those extra pounds.