One of the pitfalls of a regular fitness regimen is that it becomes, well, too regular. In order to keep your body in great shape, you need to constantly be challenging your muscles in new ways. Besides changing-up your routine, you can also intensify your regular workouts to achieve a great burn. Not sure how to make those workouts more challenging? We’ve got you covered on this one!
- If you lift weights, every 3 to 5 weeks increase the weight. It doesn’t have to be by much, but every extra pound you add will help challenge your body and push your muscles to new limits. The only way your body will get stronger is if you work your muscles until they are completely fatigued, which will always require adjusting weights as you get stronger.
- If you walk, pick up the pace. Increase you pace so that you’re breathing heavily. Walking shouldn’t feel leisurely. Another way to intensify your walking workout is to carry small hand weights while you walk. Start with one pound in each hand; however, if you feel any arm or shoulder soreness, do not use the weights and focus instead on pumping your arms while you walk. Arm pumping can burn 10% more calories.
- Try a new exercise. Whether you’re strength training or doing cardio, it’s always a great idea to throw a new exercise into the mix. Instead of running, try the stair master or the spin bike. Or take a fitness class instead of doing your regular workout routine. For strength training, research a new exercise to try each week to keep things fresh.
- Add intervals to your cardio workouts. Instead of keeping a steady pace for a full hour, try short bursts of intense cardio activity. With interval workouts, you can get away with shorter workouts while burning just as many, if not more calories.
- Make your workout hilly. Hill workouts are challenging, but they also work new muscles and keep you in great physical condition! If you’re on a treadmill, use the incline buttons to intensify your walking or running workout. Even if you can’t maintain the incline for the entire workout, it will still increase your fitness level and make your body work harder. If you prefer to be outdoors, head to a spot where the terrain changes. This might require driving to your workout destination every once and a while, but your muscles will thank you as they get stronger.