If you’ve found yourself in something of a fitness rut, double check to see if one of these common reasons are why you’re no longer improving.
When you start exercising regularly, you quickly notice how much you improve. Whether it’s a faster set of laps in the pool, a heavier set of weights in the fitness room, or a spare inch or two in your favourite jeans, that exciting time when you first start working out is often filled with milestones.
It’s not uncommon, however, to fall into something of a rut. You might start feeling as though you are no longer making any progress and have reached a plateau with your fitness.
If this is the case, here are three things that could be slowing you down and stopping you from taking your training to the next level.
1. Not enough sleep
Life can be incredibly busy, especially when you’re adding a workout into your daily routine. One of the first things you neglect is often sleep, as research from Australia’s Sleep Health Foundation (SHF) shows that 33 to 45 per cent of adults sleep poorly or not enough most nights.
Sleep is vital for both your everyday life and your fitness regime. It’s the time when your body produces most of your growth hormone, which is partially responsible for muscle growth and repair, fat burning and calcium retention.
The SHF recommends 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night for most adults, so if you’re regularly getting less than that and aren’t advancing at the gym, it may pay to get a little more shut-eye!
2. Not enough variety
We’re all guilty of having our favourite exercises or routines that we know and love. While 20 laps in the pool may push you and leave you feeling great, doing the same thing day-in day-out may not be enough variety to improve your fitness.
The human body is an excellent adaptor, and if you stick to the same routines, it can get used to the workout (not to mention, you may get bored of the same thing!). Instead, find ways to mix new exercises into the routine, increase your speed, or try a new style to push yourself out of your comfort zone and into the next level of fitness.
3. Going it alone
You’ll never know how motivating it can be to work out with a buddy until you try it, and you’ll never realise how much stronger and fitter you can get with the help of a personal trainer.
In either case, going it alone can mean you plateau simply because it’s significantly harder to push yourself than it is if someone else is there with you. Try signing up a buddy to help ensure you never miss a class, or sign up with a trainer to work towards your goal of getting even stronger!
Exercising with others can be a great motivator to keep improving.
Once you begin to break these habits, and develop new ones, you will begin to see your progress improve! Give it a go today!