Finding the perfect workout means finding something you enjoy doing that also challenges your body. However, sometimes it is easy to forget that last part. We enjoy doing one activity, we continue with that activity, so we stick with that activity. If you have found that you aren't feeling tired these days after working out, it may be a sign that what you are doing is now too easy. Any exercise is good exercise, but if you really want to reap the most of your efforts and take your fitness to the next level, you need to push yourself harder.
"Your fitness levels will never improve if you are always working out too easy," says fitness expert Brad Davidson. "You won’t become more resilient in life and you are set up for greater risk of injury." But, if you do have nice easy routine, don't ditch it completely. It can be helpful to pull out when you are looking to unwind and reduce stress. "Walking, especially outside, has been shown to dramatically reduce the stress hormones cortisol," says Davidson.
But if your goals are to build muscle, get lean, combat heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, you're going to have to kick it up a notch. Recent studies have found that high intensity interval training (HIIT) is better for your cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health than straight up moderate exercise. If you aren't sure about whether or not you need to up the ante on your workout, here are 7 signs that your current routine is too easy:
1. You don't feel fatigued.
"The first sign your workout is too easy is that you are no longer sweating or feeling fatigued," says Scott Herman, Head BeFit Trainer. "You breeze through the same routine that at one point took almost everything you had to finish." Pushing your limits will improve your metabolic health, but you do need to be pushing hard for that to happen.
2. You're able to hold a full conversation.
"If you have no problem talking, and your workout is really your social hour, you are not training hard enough," says Davidson. This isn't to say that working out can't also benefit you socially, but if you aren't getting your heart rate up and you are able to hold a conversation without a lot of heavy breathing, it is a sign you aren't working hard enough.
3. You consistently repeat the same workout.
Finding a workout you truly love is a beautiful thing. But, in order to continue to see results and build muscle, you do need to mix it up from time to time. To keep your body guessing, change things up every 4-6 weeks. "Most people acclimate to a specific program in that time frame, and then eventually no longer respond to the workout," says Davidson. "My advice is to dramatically change your workout every four weeks to constantly excite your body and demand change from it." With SweatFlix℠
you'll always have something fresh and new to choose from. With over 80 hours of on demand workouts, and new content being added all the time, the perfect BodyRock workout is just a swipe away!
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4. You're not raising your heart rate.
Any movements that require you to use your muscles are good. BUT, the best, and most effective workouts, are the ones that require you to elevate your heart rate. Studies indicate that elevating your heart rate will help reduce the risk of heart disease, Parkinson's, and diabetes.
5. You're bored.
"If you find yourself sitting around in between exercises, you might need to find a workout partner or coach that will push you at a reasonable pace," says fitness expert James Kilgallon. If you aren't really interested in your workout, there is no way you will be putting in the effort you need to reach your full potential. It is time to mix things up!
6. You don't see progress.
"You should be able to run longer or lift heavier weights after four weeks of exercise," says Dr. Robert Huizenga, the physician from The Biggest Loser.
Plateaus are normal but you shouldn't be stuck in the exact same place over a long period of time.
7. You never feel sore.
"Delayed onset muscle soreness is actually caused by small micro tears in your muscles," says Kilgallon. "When your body repairs these micro tears during rest, you then develop new lean muscle mass." You don't have to feel sore after every workout but if you can't remember the last time you felt even a hint of soreness, you need to go back to the drawing bored.
How do you keep your workout challenging?