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Q&A

Getting Out Of An Exercise Plateau

Question:

My daily 30-minute workout regime has helped me drop five pounds, but recently I'm not seeing any more weight loss. What's happening?


Sounds like you've hit an exercise plateau. If you have been performing the same routine week after week, your body will start to adapt. The result? You'll burn fewer calories and not see the fat-burning benefits.

An effective plateau-breaker that fitness experts use to get out of an exercise rut is to vary the routine and shake things up. In other words, you incorporate new workouts to surprise the body and force it to adapt and bring you to new levels of fitness.

For instance, if you could try new cardiovascular activities to give different muscles a workout, or use free weights if you always use machines for strength training, or it can even be as simple as changing the order of your exercises every few weeks.

Another way to scramble up the predictability of your workout is to vary the intensity of your workouts on different days. Specify different days of the week as low-moderate or high-intensity days.

Or try interval training, in which you alternate high-intensity levels with lower-intensity effort within your workout. Think light jogging interspersed with short bursts of fast sprints, or slow walking mixed with speed walking. Interval training has been found to keep the body in a fat-burning zone throughout your training, and the best part is it keeps your body burning calories long after you've stopped working out.



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