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Friday, January 27, 2012

31 Days of Weight Loss Tips: Day 27 Vary Your Workouts

Photo by Simon Schoeters on Flickr
If you want to maintain your weight do the same workout over and over -- but if you want to see the number on the scale decrease, you've got to change up your workouts.

I can't tell you how many people I hear complain about not being able to achieve their ideal weight, yet do the same workout over and over -- for years even.

Maintenance workouts that involve doing the same type of workout are beneficial for cardiovascular fitness and help your body stay exactly the same. For example, going for your usual morning run or walk every day or doing your customary 20 minutes on the elliptical at the gym are great for maintenance.

But, if you're trying to shed some pounds or make some changes, you need to step it up. Our bodies adapt very easily to our exercise routines. It is imperative to keep your body guessing at what's to come and most importantly, make your workouts a challenge. If you don't find your workout to be tough -- it's not, and you need to turn up the intensity.

The standard is to change your routine at least every six weeks. But I find it beneficial to constantly change exercises and types of cardio. I've been known to do a different workout each time I go to the gym. How you choose to vary your workouts is individual and up to you.

Here are some tips:

  • Try a new group class. Spinning, Zumba, yoga, pilates and all the new fusion classes are a great way to change things up.
  • Use fitness magazines for new workouts ideas. You're likely to find one if not several things you've never tried. 
  • Change the type of workout program you do on your favorite cardio machine. For example, if you always do aerobic training, try doing interval training.
  • Join a league. Basketball, softball, flag football or even dodge ball are great options.
  • Increase your weights. Here's a way you can actually do the same weight training program, but make it more challenging by going up by 10-15 pounds. 
  • Take on new activities like biking, running or hiking. 

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