It is easy to get stuck in a rut where you aren’t exercising, but it’s just as easy to get stuck in a rut with the exercise that you are doing.
An exercise routine should never be routine to the point that it becomes easy, because there will come a point where the body is longer challenged and the effects on health are minimal.
Increasing Performance and Time
Once you have achieved a certain level of fitness you should look to improve your performance with measurable increments. For each exercise discipline this will be different. For those lifting weights and wanting to become stronger this means lifting 20% heavier week-on-week.
For those running to keep fit you should look to increase the distance by 10% week-on-week. For Yoga and Pilates, flexibility should be pushed each week and new techniques introduced. Similarly, for martial arts, speed and technique should be increased daily and weekly.
Beating your time or improving performance in general takes discipline. This discipline means having specific and measurable goals. You need to document progress either during or after every workout. Quite often you will see people in the gym scribbling on a note pad as they train, this is exactly what they are doing – documenting progress and noting down weight, reps and rest intervals.
Breaking The Wall Means Increased Health
The more we push ourselves toward the infamous ‘wall’ of breaking point the fitter and healthier we become. Our lung capacity becomes greater and we can last longer in our given area of sport. If we don’t push ourselves we become stagnant and lazy, we get into a comfort zone where realistically we might as well not be exercising at all. This motivation to push our bodies will filter through to all other areas of our lives too.
Endorphins Bring a Plethora of Benefits
Another benefit is endorphins. The more we push ourselves past what we previously thought we were capable of the more endorphins flow into our blood stream and the better we feel. This in turn increases our self-confidence and general happiness. We feel positively motivated to improve in other areas of our lives and become used to challenging what is considered the norm or standard.
Don’t Be Fooled by The “I Workout” Psychology
You have seen it for yourself, people in the gym who have been going pretty much every day for years but look like they have never lifted a weight or run for more than 10 minutes. That is because they haven’t upped their endurance to build muscle or followed a plan of action to beat their previous time on the running machine. The body is resilient; it gets used to exercise very quickly and will comfortably do the same work out day after day with little effort.
For you it feels good because you are hitting the gym or running in the park each day, but don’t let that “I workout” psychology fool your brain. You may go to the gym or run everyday but that doesn’t mean you are reaping the benefits you should be or achieving the body you first set out to attain. Increase endurance with specific measurement and see results.