You might have heard that after some time, your body becomes accustomed to certain movements and you burn fewer calories while doing them. Or, you could simply be feeling tired of your workout routine. So should you switch it up? Or do you risk losing progress with your weight loss plan?
First, let’s clear up some confusion. You don’t exactly burn fewer calories simply because your body is accustomed to certain exercises. Calorie burn is based in large part upon two things: The effort you put forth to perform a workout, and your body size. As your body size decreases, moving requires a bit less energy. And when exercises become easier for you, because you’re getting into better shape, you might not expend as much effort.
But these facts don’t exactly mean that you should quit your old workout and choose an entirely new one. After all, you’re making great progress. Whatever you’re doing, it’s working! And if you’re working toward a particular goal, such as walking a 5k race, you don’t want to give up the exact activity for which you’re training.
The key to keeping your calorie burn up, as well as decreasing any boredom you might feel, is to continually challenge yourself. Add a challenge or two, but without completely revamping your entire workout routine.
Every four to six weeks, it is probably time to increase the resistance of your weight-training moves. Add five or ten pounds to bench presses, arm curls, deadlifts, and so on.
Increasing repetitions is another way to continue to challenge your body. If you’ve been doing fifteen pushups, increase to twenty.
And finally, changing up the moves themselves can be another great way to challenge more muscle groups. Walking lunges can become reverse lunges, pushups can become dumbbell bench presses, and so on. You can target the same or nearby muscle groups, while preventing boredom and adding to the challenge of your workouts.
Of course, if you’re exercising as part of an overall weight loss plan, seeking a doctor’s oversight can help you get the results you want. Call our office to schedule an appointment, and we can review both your nutrition and exercise strategies.