Are you feeling like your workouts are getting a bit easy? Especially if you have been feeling stuck in a rut, it could be that your workouts aren’t intense enough to really make an improvement. Sure, light exercise does have its advantages; walking outside is great for reducing stress hormones like cortisol and can boost overall well-being. But if what you’re after are the more full-bodied health benefits, like strengthened muscles and lowered risk of heart disease or diabetes, walking alone won’t cut it. You’ll need to take things up a notch with strength training and metabolic conditioning! So how do you know when it’s time to mix things up? Here are four signs it’s time to switch up your workouts!
4 Signs It’s Time to Switch Up Your Workouts
1. You have been doing the same workout for months (or longer)
Doing the same routine without variability will cause your body to quickly become used to the same stimulus each time, resulting in your body expending less energy and effort to complete the same program. Incorporating new exercises or higher levels of intensity can push your body to new limits, thus creating better results and improved progression, plus switching up your workouts can help prevent boredom with the same exercises day after day. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and adjust your program – when done safely, it’s a key factor that will contribute to overall success in achieving your fitness goals!
2. You never feel tired or sore after your workout
Working out should make you fatigued – it’s a sign of an effective workout that your body has done hard work and needs to recover. Our bodies contain biological systems which interact to create homeostasis, a balanced internal environment in response to a wide range of environmental stimuli. Exercise helps to challenge each system and keeps them in top shape, but only if the exercise is appropriate for your personal fitness level. If you find that you’re no longer feeling tired or sore after a workout, it may mean that the intensity or type of exercise has become too easy for your body, and this can lead to diminishing returns on your fitness efforts without major modifications.
3. You aren’t getting your heart rate up
Your heart is a muscle and it needs to be worked just like any other part of the body. While strength training should not leave you breathless after every set, it should be challenging enough to increase your heart rate at some points during your training session. A regular exercise routine not only strengthens the heart but can also help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels and even lower cholesterol. If your heart rate never goes up during a workout, that could signal that the intensity isn’t high enough to reap any real health benefits.
4. Your progress has plateaued
After a few weeks of working out, you may have started to see improvements in your body and felt more energized. However, if you’ve been seeing little or no progress despite diligently hitting the gym, it may be time to switch up your routine. Plateauing is often due to the body becoming too accustomed to the same movements and exercises, which means no more growth or change. To break out of a cycle of stagnation, try something new – try a different exercise or machine, lower the tempo or rest, increase the range or reps, anything to mix up the stimuli. Change can be invigorating, and a fresh approach might just be what your body needs to signal its reset button.
Although it can be tempting to settle into a cozy routine, it’s important to challenge yourself in new ways to get the most out of each session. If post-workout exhaustion is missing from your life, now is the time to discover different ways to test yourself physically in order to continue getting great results as well as the health benefits of exercise. And for anyone unsure how to challenge themselves safely or who needs help breaking out of their normal routine, the team at Stark is always here to help!