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Just like most relationships, at some point your relationship with your workout routine is going to hit a wall. Inevitably, you experience the dreaded plateau. The plateau can take on various forms. Sometimes it looks like burnout, other times it masks itself as boredom. Most often, though, it looks likes progress and transformation have stalled.
I recently found myself at the fitness plateau. After battling a sinus infection for three weeks, my motivation and energy levels were both in serious decline. Here are four things I do that help me to push on and up on my fitness journey.
1. Give your workout five minutes. When I feel super unmotivated, I tell myself I’ll exercise for five minutes. Know what happens? After five minutes my blood is flowing, my muscles are warm and I feel good about my choice. Almost always those five minutes turn into a good 30-minute workout.
2. Buy a new exercise outfit or a piece of gym equipment. As silly as it may seem to some, for women, retail therapy goes a long way. When I start to lose the thrill of working out, I buy a new exercise outfit or piece of equipment. Take it a step further by making a purchase that will challenge your current fitness level. I can get motivated to add an extra mile to my run when I have a new pair of running shoes to break in. And to do another rep of bicep and tricep work when wearing a workout tank that allows me to see those muscles at work is just the excitement I needed.
3. Try something new. It’s easy to get into a workout rut. You may find you would rather pluck out gray hairs than go to that same early morning spin class. Trying a new exercise class or workout plan can bring the enthusiasm back to your fitness routine. I also like to up the ante by challenging my endurance or setting a new goal. If you can do one set of pushups, make it a goal to be able to do two.
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4. Mix it up. Similar to trying something new, mixing up your regular routine can help to overcome a plateau. Switching up cardio, strength training and yoga can help move you past a plateau. Plus, when you change up your workout, you challenge your endurance, strengthen muscles differently and even work out some muscles you didn’t know you had!
>> Read more: The Brain Game: 5 Ways I Maintain Motivation
All of these tips have worked for me at different points in my relationship with exercise. The good news is these are small, simple tips that can make a big impact in your workouts. Trying just one new thing can be just the refresher your fitness routine needs to move forward.