Have your fitness gains reached a plateau? Maybe it’s been awhile since you worked out and you want to get back on track, but not with the same old routines you’ve always done. Perhaps you’ve been diligently keeping up with your regimen, but you can feel yourself getting bored, and the results just aren’t the same as they were in the beginning. No matter where you are on the fitness spectrum, it’s never too late to get on a better track, so why not start now and take advantage of the nice weather spring and summer provides. Plus, if you take a unique approach to fitness, you might just find results happening better, faster, and with what seems like less effort!
The Mayo Clinic reports that weight loss plateaus are very real, and there are a number of factors at play. One of them is simply that the body gets used to whatever exercises you’re doing. That’s why personal trainers change variants on a set schedule. However, humans are creatures of habit, and it can be tough to come up with new exercise options.
Ready to shake things up? Here are a few unique ways to get past that plateau:
- Try rowing. If you’ve never rowed before, you’re missing out. Don’t worry — you don’t have to do it on that machine at the gym. Most communities have rowing classes for all ages and abilities. The water is calmest at dawn and dusk, so most classes and crews can be found on the water at sunrise before the heat of the day goes into effect. It’s a full-body workout that also requires you to get up early and fit in your daily dose of exercise at the beginning of your day.
- Go horseback riding. If you’ve never been near a horse before, know that you are never too old to learn to ride, and riding is an incredible workout. You might get “saddle sore,” but a skilled instructor will ease you into rides to avoid excessive soreness. Not only will you enjoy a killer workout, but you’ll also be able to connect with a gorgeous animal. Now, that’s the kind of workout partner that can really inspire you!
- Get on the Pokemon Go bandwagon (late). The Pokemon Go craze seemed to “Go” as mysteriously as it came, but the game is still around. Simply moving more and walking is a great first step (literally) for those getting started or back into a fitness regimen. Catching Pokemon can be addictive and gets you out of the house on a regular basis and into the fresh air. Winter gave you the excuse to search indoors, but with the arrival of spring, and summer soon after, you can combine video games with the outdoors. You can even use it as motivation to add more steps into the daily activities you’re already doing — try extending the time you spend dog walking your furry friend, or increasing the distance between your parking spot and office building each morning. Plus, the developers are always coming out with new additions.
- Jump around. Trampolines are famously good at getting you fit, and there’s no need to invest in a big one for your backyard. You can “spring” on a mini-trampoline that easily slides under the bed for storage, or check out a trampoline park in your area. Some offer classes for jumpers of all ages and abilities. It never feels like a workout, especially when you’re literally jumping off the walls — and sometimes into cushy ball pits!
- Train for a Guinness World Record. There’s a world record for just about anything, and if it’s fitness-minded, you might be surprised at what you can qualify for. While Thrillist came up with some of the easiest to break, you’ll likely need to scour the official website to see what kind of exercise-centric records you’re up for battling. Don’t see the record you want to break, but have something in mind? You can always pitch your idea to Guinness free of charge and be the very first to hold such a record! Think about exercises that you’re good at and seem easy — maybe it’s holding downward facing dog for an extended period of time, or doing an insane amount of push-ups in just one minute.
Incorporating all this new activity into your life is great, but don’t forget to keep your energy up by getting enough shut eye. Sleep is more than just “down time” for your brain and body to rest. It is essential for rebuilding your energy levels to be able to focus, pay attention, and respond quickly. Nothing will kill a workout quicker than having to constantly stop for a break, and if you’re exhausted, it will be tempting to choose a nap over exercise. You should aim to get at least eight to nine hours of restful sleep. Avoid playing sleep catch up by using sleep medication, which runs the risk of addiction. If you have trouble sleeping, implement healthy methods such as playing soothing sounds, taking a warm bath right before bed, or establishing a regular bedtime and sticking to it.
You don’t need to give up the exercises you love just to avoid a plateau or because you think it’s time to move on. However, you should always be seeking out new options and experimenting. That’s how you discover new-to-you hobbies and passions. What unique workout will you try next?