Ah yes, routine. The sought out daily patterns of our lives that keep us in check. Routine is said to be a good contributing factor to a healthy lifestyle. Monday through Friday you get in a good workout after a long day at the office or school, relax on the weekends with your friends and family, and then Sunday night prepare to restart your week all over again. Routine can aid in keeping us organized and comfortable in our daily lives. However, did you know that your routine could actually be killing your results at the gym and your diet? Here’s how:
- It’s just too comfortable: We sometimes get a little too used to our routines that stepping outside of our norm can be quite frightening. The lady at the gym taking your elliptical machine at the gym, or your favorite parking spot filled at work. If we don’t push ourselves out of our comfort zones on the daily activities, how can we expect to push ourselves to achieve our goals and lifestyle changes? Embrace the change. It’s actually very mentally healthy.
- You lose motivation: Routine can sometimes be the curse that sucks the life out of us. Getting up everyday at the crack of dawn, shower, breakfast, long drive to work/school, working a long day, same gym routine, come home, then cook dinner, only to go to bed and restart the following day. As exhausting as you feel your days might be, it may actually be your routine bogging you down. Try a new route to work, get up a little earlier and see the sun rise, take the stairs instead of the elevator, switch up your gym routine and try something new. It’s the little changes we make daily to our lives that help to keep it interesting and help keep us motivated. No two days should be the same, this allows your minds and bodies to recharge and feel excited to complete our daily tasks.
- Your body is just too used to it: Once your body gets used to a workout or diet routine, you may start to lose the results you were once seeing. The scale starts to remain steady, and your hard work at the gym doesn’t seem to be paying off. The reason being is that your body needs to constantly be challenged in order to change. The classes you always take at the gym, and the routine you’ve done for the last few weeks eventually start to become easier and lose their fat burning potential. Same thing goes for your diet. If you eat the same meals day in, and day out, at exactly the same times your body starts to expect the same nutrients and could be lacking others it needs. The best way to constantly see change is to shock your body constantly. Feed it new foods and recipes every week. Change your Monday Leg Days to Thursday’s, and Friday’s Cardio to Tuesday. Constant change helps you get the full potential out of your workouts and diet, and keeps you motivated to stick with it. There is nothing worse than a workout or diet slump. Part of our success comes from our mental drive to keep us going. Your workout and diet don’t have to be dreadful. Switch it up, your body and mind will thank you!
Tips on how to get out of the routine slump:
- Change your workouts each week: This allows your body to constantly guess what is coming next and allows you to work muscles you may not have otherwise worked before.
- When meal prepping for your week, don’t be afraid to try new meals: New things can be an epic success or a colossal failure. I’m sure more than once you will cook something you don’t like and that’s ok! Try again until you find foods you enjoy!
- Switch meals up every couple of days: When I meal prep, I make smaller portions that last only a couple of days and I will make a couple of different meals for my week. This helps to keep me excited about my meals, and my body guessing!
- Never do the same cardio routines: Cardio is an excellent way to burn some fat and get us sweating! If you are a gym member, I’m sure you’re familiar with the elliptical and treadmill machines. The best success at your cardio routines is to constantly switch it up. Treadmill one day, StairMaster another. Don’t be afraid to try new cardio machines, or new routines on old ones. Try 30 second sprinting on and off for 20 minutes on the treadmill instead of a steady jog. If you are an outdoors person who prefers running, biking, or walking, take new routes and switch it up often! By taking the same routes every day our bodies know what to expect when we start our workout we lose the calorie burning effect we’re looking for. Do new parks with higher inclines or go farther than you had last week. You’ll see some amazing results!
- Take the stairs AND go for a walk: I know, I know, you’ve heard this a thousand times: “Take the stairs instead of the elevator, it’s good cardio,” but actually taking the stairs changes up your routine and has excellent cardio benefits. Walking on your breaks also helps to keep your heart rate going throughout the day. When break time comes, walk with your iPod and sandwich instead of sitting and eating your lunch. You’ll torch extra calories and it’s nice to get outside your four walls of the office or class and enjoy a new view. Remember to change your walking route every so often to avoid getting bored with it.
- Take new routes to work or school: If you have to drive or bike to commute to work/school everyday then this one is for you. A change in scenery each day can actually help boost your mood for the rest of the day. Try it!
- Change your playlist: We all have that one list of songs on our iPods/MP3 players that we absolutely love jamming to whether it be at the gym during a hard workout or driving to or from work or school. A great tip to keep you out of a routine slump is to change your music frequently. Listening to new music can help fuel your fire for a good session at the gym, or even get you into new artist you had never heard of.
Change is what spices up our lives each and everyday. Make sure you enjoy the flavor.
Featured image via Gaby Scheer