Spring Clean your Exercise Routine

Bored with the same exercises, week in week out? Feeling de-motivated, and not getting the same results that you used to? Perhaps it’s time to “spring clean” your exercise routine.

Your body is an amazing machine. It really is phenomenal. And it’s also clever – it adapts very quickly to exercise and becomes extremely efficient at the exercise routines it’s used to. This is why progress stalls; your body is now a professional at your old gym routine and can do it while expending as little energy as possible. This is where “progressive overload” comes in. Every 8 weeks or so, you should try to either progress in whatever you’re doing or try something completely new.

Here’s my tips for “spring cleaning” your exercise routine (and getting your body out of its comfort zone):

• Get outside. Now that the weather is getting better, start walking or try out the couch to 5k plan. If you’re already a runner, check out what races are coming up – are you ready to progress to a 10k? half marathon? full marathon? Start setting yourself some goals that force you to run further or faster.

• Change up your strength training. Time to up the reps, weight, time in the gym. There are so many ways to up your strength training – try a heavier weight or increase your repetitions. Do an extra set, or try time under tension (hold that squat for an extra few seconds). Try a superset (different exercise, same muscle group, exercised back to back). The key is to take whatever you’re doing now and find a way to make it more challenging.

• Get yourself a new program. If you’re working out in a gym, is it time for a fresh program? Most gyms offer members regular updated programs throughout the year. Perhaps even try out a personal training session. These can give you some fresh ideas for your gym workout.

• Try a different time of the day. If you usually exercise in the morning, try an evening class or vice versa. Just to change it up a bit and see how different it makes you feel. It might mean changing up your schedule or routine, but maybe that needs an update too!

• Try a new class. Spinning, yoga, Pilates, circuits, bootcamp, Zumba – anything you haven’t done before. Even if it seems gentle, if you’ve never done it before, your body will respond. Plus, it’s always fun to learn something new as you also have to think… so the mind gets a workout, too.

• Go back to sport you used to love or try a new one. Used to play Camogie in college, or always wanted to try it? There are loads of beginner’s options out there to try and many clubs have social teams you can join. If the thought of a sports team is a bit too much, what about a dance class? Salsa, ballroom, it doesn’t matter, it’s a very fun way to build fitness and challenge the body.

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