Doing the same workout day-in and day-out is more than just mind numbing—it can also create a fitness plateau. “When you do the same thing over and over, your body is going to get used to it and you’ll reach a point where you no longer see improvement or change,” says Lacey Stone, a personal fitness trainer in Los Angeles, CA.
“That’s when you’ll notice all those moves that once seemed hard now feel easy, the numbers on the scale might stop moving the way you’d like them to, and it’s suddenly a lot easier to hit snooze instead of jumping out of bed for a morning workout,” she says.
Sound familiar? It’s time to shake up your routine! “Increase the number of days per week you exercise or the length of time you’re doing it, amp up your intensity level, or try a completely new activity!” suggests Stone. Here are four rut-busting workout ideas to try now.
If you usually do YOGA… try KICKBOXING
Great for improving core strength, balance, and mental agility, the body benefits you build up in yoga will also give you an edge in the ring. Punching, kicking, and bobbing and weaving engages your abdominal muscles in new ways, and creates an intense cardio effect that helps your body torch more calories—so long, muffin top! Look for kickboxing classes at martial arts studios and gyms near you, or consider using a service like ClassPass, which lets you try out lots of different types classes and fitness studios in your area for one set price.
If you usually go for a WALK… try PARKOUR
The world is your obstacle course when you practice parkour! On your next walk or run, take a fresh look at the stuff along your route. Jump up and over the curb at the next intersection! Twirl yourself onto and over that bus stop bench! (Maybe pause for a couple tricep dips while you’re there!) Crawl under a fence instead of walking around it! Parkour improves flexibility and agility, and creates bursts of intensity during your regular walk or run, burning more calories—similar to HIIT. Plus, it’s just plain fun!
If you usually take a CARDIO CLASS… try PILATES
You won’t miss out on fitness benefits by downshifting the speed of your next exercise class. In fact, adding a mat- or reformer-based pilates session into your weekly routine can help you find (and fire!) muscles you may have missed in step or dance aerobics classes. Pilates strengthens your core muscles and can improve flexibility and range of motion, too. Consider starting with a mat-based session—they tend to cost less and the intimidation factor is low for newbies.
If you usually use WEIGHT MACHINES… try PERSONAL TRAINING
Talking to a pro can take your fitness to the next level. Even just one or two sessions will help you discover new moves, improve your form, and start seeing major results. Plus, being able to bounce your goals off an expert can be both reassuring and motivating. Lots of gyms offer a free training session or discounts for members, so check with your local health club. Or look for packages on Groupon, LivingSocial, and other deal-of-the-day services.
Need more workout inspiration? Whether you’re just starting to exercise or looking to put the fire back into your routine, take this short quiz to find a new fit and reenergize your fitness plan!
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.