Do you know what to do when you reach a plateau? Let’s say you’ve been eating healthy and working out for 3 months. During those 3 months you saw continuous weight loss and you’re now down 12 pounds, but have not seen any additional weight loss for two weeks. What’s going on and what do you do about it?
I get this question quite often, the simple answer is: ‘step it up a notch’. Your body becomes accustomed to exercise in anywhere from 1 to three months of doing it. Once that occurs, your body sees no need to make anymore changes as it’s meeting your regular needs.
So nows the time to step it up a notch. If you’re using 5 pound dumb bells, increase them to 7. If you’re running on the treadmill or the elliptical for 30 minutes, increase it to 40 or raise the level of the program.
Once you do this, you should begin to see changes once again, as your body will adapt to the increased stresses you’re putting on it.
Just a word of caution, not too much too quickly. That’s how we get hurt and lose our interest in exercise, and that’s the last thing you want to see occur.
So have at it and have fun doing it!
Aerobic training or cardio training is one of the three major elements of a good quality fitness routine. It can be the most important for certain groups of people. It’s the one way to reduce cholesterol, and the major way to drive down blood sugar on a regular basis for diabetics. It’s important for those with any type of heart disease (with your doctors blessing of course) to increase cardiovascular fitness and strengthen the heart muscle. It’s important for everyone to do in order to burn calories and to strengthen and maintain a strong heart muscle. It also helps to reduce stress, you can actually feel your frustrations melt away with the sweat coming out of your pores!
To make the best of your aerobic workout you need a heart rate monitor. To calculate your aerobic range, which is 60% to 85% of your maximum heart rate, you deduct your age from 220, then take that number which is your maximum heart rate and multiply it by .60 and .85 arriving at your aerobic range. Using the heart rate monitor, exercise with your heart rate between those two numbers for a minimum of 30 minutes three times per week. As your heart becomes stronger, you should work up to four times per week, or go to 45 minutes three times per week to get the best results.
You can use a road bike or a stationary bike, the streets or the treadmill or any of those machines lining the walls of the gym, just choose your favorites and get going! Just for fun try every one of the machines for 10 minutes each the next time you’re at the gym.