Image Source: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series
If you never step out of your comfort zone, then how will you ever know how bad ass you truly could be? How would you know what your body is capable of? How would you know that you can achieve what you once thought you couldn’t?
If we do the same thing day in and day out, our bodies become acclimated to what we put it through. It gets accustomed to the same movement, the same exercises, the same pace, the same muscles used, the same breathing patterns. If we don’t change it up from time to time, we hit a plateau and not much will change.
- Change your diet
- Go faster
- Go slower
- Add strength training
- Lift more, do less reps
- Lift less, do more reps
- Add cardio
- Do interval sprints
- Do 4- 6 weeks of DIFFERENT workouts than your usual
- Add Zumba, T25, yoga, cycling, swimming, running, pilates or anything new to you to the mix
The point is to change it up from time to time. This is really difficult for me, personally. I love to run and I have figured out a running schedule that works for my, my family, my work, my life. To change it up seems like a huge deal now that I have it worked out for me. However, I have found one way to change it up.
My running pace has been the same for quite some time. It is fairly comfortable for me – I enjoy myself, my heart gets a good workout, and overall, I am happy with my exercise regimen. My goal this year- my challenge to myself- is to challenge my perceived pace limitations. By that, I mean I want to get faster. It’s time to shake my body (and my mind) out of how fast I *think* I can run. I know I can run a good, solid 11:30-12 min pace. I do it often. But, over the last few weeks, I have been challenging myself on a run here or there. After I have run a few miles, I challenge my body TO GO FASTER and complete a mile FASTER (#2 on the list). On some of my runs, I do interval sprints (#8 on the list). On my longer runs, I am trying to GO SLOWER and keep my heart rate low for as long as possible. I am working my heart out at different levels to optimize everything (there is a more scientific explanation about exercising in different heart rate zones but that will have to be another post).
In order to get faster, I have to run faster. And do sprints. And go slower. It can be so complicated to understand at times.
I do know this.
I am challenging my limits…..my perceived limits.
This doesn’t just apply to running though. It can apply to all of you and whatev.er your preferred mode of exercise happens to be.
- Are you a walker? Then walk faster, or longer, or slower. Add core work to the mix.
- Love cardio but don’t do anything else? Then add strength training or lifting weights to your schedule.
- Yoga and pilates your thing? Add some cardio to your day.
- Are you a runner, cyclist or swimmer- comfortable and set in your routine? Change it up.
Whatever it might be, change it up and also, CHALLENGE YOUR LIMITS.
Change is not going to happen if you continue do the same thing over and over.
You know what? You just may be surprised with what you discover when you change it up and challenge your limits.
What are you going to do to change it up and challenge your limits?
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