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New year, new workout

Jade Peterson

Retrofit Exercise Physiologist

2018 is just around the corner, and with it, brings a golden opportunity to shake things up and kickstart a new workout routine. Stale workout routines not only get dull and repetitive, but they can hinder your weight-loss efforts too! Read on for advice on how to get moving and take your exercise routine to the next level this year.

Why should I make a change?

Well, there are many reasons. First, there’s the boredom factor. The longer you exercise the same way, at the same time, in the same place, the more likely you are to get fed up with what you’re doing. It becomes easier to say “I’m tired; I’ll skip my workout today.” You’re not excited or motivated to do it. What’s more, changing up your fitness routine can actually aid in weight loss. Say, for instance, you regularly workout on the exercise bike. As time goes on and you consistently use the bike, your stamina will increase. Your body will get used to riding the bike and won’t need to work as hard to complete the workout. This means you will be pedalling the bike for the same amount of time, at the same intensity, but burning less calories than before.

How do I switch it up?

There are a lot of ways for you to get into a new workout groove.

Small swaps

Ramping up your routine doesn’t have to be a big change. Why not simply switch up the order of your exercises? Take a new class, or make use of your gym’s pool and try swimming. If you like cardio and usually jog or walk, try the stairs or bike instead. Not sure what else you’ll enjoy? Split your 20-minute cardio session into four sets; do five minutes each on the bike, treadmill, stairs, and rowing machine. See which one you prefer. If moving from machine to machine is something that keeps you engaged, do them all and don’t choose at all!

Introduce intervals

Intervals are a great way to increase the intensity of your workout session. These are short bursts of higher intensity exercise done throughout your workout. For example, if you are on the treadmill, run at a much faster pace for 30-60 seconds, followed by 30-60 seconds at your normal pace. You repeat this for the entire session, giving you a more intense workout.

Circuit training

Circuit training can be a challenging form of exercise to try. This being said, we recommend only trying it out after you have at least four months of consistent exercise under your belt. It’s a combination of strength training and cardio mashed into one workout, completed in sets. For example, you could jog for two minutes, do one set of pushups, finish with a plank hold, and repeat twice more. In this set, you have incorporated cardio with upper-body and core exercises; it’s a full-body workout. Circuits are a great way to keep engaged in your workout as you are constantly moving around, doing something different.

Remember, the key to a new fitness routine is finding something you enjoy and that works for you. Don’t be afraid to keep switching it up. Start out this new year with a new fitness plan, schedule, and goals to have your healthiest year yet!

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