How often should I change my exercise routine?

Ready to take steps to improve your health and fitness? Even those with a solid exercise routine should consider shaking things up in 2017. 

How often you should change your exercise routine really depends on your goals and your life stage. For example, if you have specific fitness or performance goals, you’ll need to be constantly shifting gears, whereas building muscle requires more consistency and repetition.

If weight loss is your number one goal, you’ll need to change things up each time you hit a plateau. Pregnant? Yep, time to shake things up. And if you’re in good health, love your workout routine and are happy with your body shape and fitness level, there’s likely no reason to change things up too much at all. Just keep doing what you’re doing!

Here are my top reasons to mix up your routine:

1. What you’re doing stops working for you

If it’s been months since you’ve seen change or progression from your routine and you’re feeling negatively about it, change things up! This can be as simple as switching a few of your regular long runs for some intervals, or circuit sessions – it doesn’t have to be rocket science.

2. You’re feeling pretty bored

When the motivation to get your butt out of bed starts to head downhill and you’re feeling ho-hum about your workouts, that’s a key sign it’s time for a change. When this happens to me, I like to set myself a challenge to try out one new kind of fitness class/studio and one new online workout each week for a month, or I book a trainer to take me through a month-long program to get some fresh ideas – I usually feel totally inspired by the end of it.

3. Your goals shift

If you’ve always loved strength training but a friend ropes you into a fun run, guess what? Time to launch into a run training program to make sure you get over that finish line injury free and actually enjoy the event.

4. Something in your life shifts

If you’ve just started a new job and your hours are hectic, you’ve recently found out you’re pregnant or had a baby, or something else pops up that impacts your regular exercise schedule, don’t put pressure on yourself to keep up the same old schedule – life’s not linear and you need to be flexible and kind to yourself. There are so many options out there these days – home workouts, online programs, studios catering to all sorts of different life stages – so don’t be afraid to change your focus for awhile and take the pressure off. Likewise, there are times to take things UP a notch too, so when you get the chance to really give a new program your all, take it and relish every second of feeling your body getting leaner, faster and stronger!

BONUS TIP – it may not be your workout that needs to change…

Let me just gently remind you that most of the time, it’s the food you’re eating that will make the biggest impact on your body shape and mood! So… man (or wo-man) up, cut your portion sizes, eat more greens and less starch, reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake, freshen up your plate and stop eating/drinking after dinner and you’ll probably find that your pants fit a whole lot better and your runs become speedier in no time! 

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