Did you know that training at the same pace and distance for a year or more can actually lead to a weight plateau or even gain? Studies have shown that weight gain can happen even among the most active if they repeat the same old routine. The good news is you can break through it with a few simple adjustments to your everyday routine! The sure fire way toget the scale moving in the right direction is to switch up your routine. The more variety, the harder your body has to work, the more calories you’ll burn.
Move Faster: Dial up the speed of your normal run or walk once per week and aim to cover the same distance, but in less time. Warm up for at least 10 minutes at an easy effort. Alternate two minutes at a hard effort (breathing vigorously, but not gasping for air), followed by two minutes at an easy effort to catch your breath. Repeat this 4-6 times and cool down with 5 minutes walking at an easy effort. You’ll have a blast mixing up the speed, burn a ton of calories and the time will fly by!
Move Farther and Slower: Invest a little more time once per week and add a half-mile every two weeks (until you reach 5-6 miles) to your normal run or walk distance. Keep the pace at a comfortable, conversational pace to burn fat and build endurance. More miles = more calories.
Get Stronger: Add 20 minutes of strength training (lunges, push ups, squats) two to three times per week to build lean muscle tissue, reduce inches and boost your metabolism. Crunched for time? Incorporate a strengthening exercise every 3-5 minutes during your run or walk. After 4-6 weeks, begin to vary the strength sets, repetitions and exercises to continue to progress.
Cross-Train: Add a new activity to your regimen (cycling, stair climbing, elliptical, Zumba, Yoga). Your body won’t know what’s coming next and will work extra hard and will burn extra calories. Mix up your cross-training activity every 4-6 weeks to keep your body on its toes and keep your program fresh.