Exercise is an intrinsically healthy addition to your daily routine for weight loss, increasing calorie burn, boosting your metabolism, and building your muscles so you can feel good in your body. The best form of exercise is realistically one that you can stick to in the long term and one which you enjoy including as a regular part of your day.
That being said, there are still exercise mistakes that you can make which may impede on your weight loss–particularly when it comes to cardio. Although cardio is essential in your workout routine for improving the functionality of your lungs and heart, improving your quality of life, there is one key mistake you could be making which is stalling weight loss and standing in the way of your success.
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Just as there is such a thing as working out too infrequently, doing the same exercise too frequently can also have some pretty significant implications on your health, according to Tonal Coach, Gabby Sansosti – NASM-CPT. It can be easy to fall into the rut of repeating the same workout at the same intensity over and over as you grow comfortable, but if you hope to maintain your momentum and create lasting habits this is not a sustainable approach to cardio.
“The body craves a change in your workout routine and it’s necessary to continue to see results,” explains Sansosti. “The body will become more efficient at the routine over time in turn spending fewer calories causing a plateau in your weight loss.”
Keeping diversity in your workout and mixing up routine each day is vital for making exercise enjoyable and solidifying that habit in your routine. If you grow bored of the one workout you continue to repeat, you may feel inclined to stop working out altogether, completely taking weight loss results off the table.
However, if you simply practice the same exercise over and over without making it any more difficult, your body will at some point cease to be challenged and ultimately stop making progress. Progressive overload is essential to seeing lasting results over time, and falling into a rut with cardio takes away the potential to grow in your strength and skill.
Not only this, but making your workout sessions too long can also reduce the impact they have on your body, and while it may naturally seem as though you would burn more calories the longer you exercise, this does not necessarily stand true. “The longer your cardio session is, the less intense it is and high-intensity is key for fat loss,” notes Sansosti. “Additionally, for most, a lack of motivation due to the redundancy of the most common forms of cardio is inevitable.”
Instead, try alternating through a variety of different forms of cardio such as cycling, running or walking while exerting as much energy as possible during a shorter session. This will keep you from growing bored and increase fat loss the harder you work. HIIT cardio is also a valuable tool to include in your exercise arsenal, allowing you to try out a selection of different exercise moves to challenge various areas of your body.
It may be easy to get stuck in a rut once you’ve found a routine that works for you, but adding variety into your workouts is one of the best ways to ensure that your body continues to evolve and grow stronger. If your goal is to maintain your fitness level this may be fine, but it’s likely that at some point you will eventually grow tired of repeating the same exercise each day and stop working out altogether once your body has plateaued.
Integrating a mix of various forms of cardio in combination with weight training into your routine will ultimately allow your body to display the best results, gaining strength and improving your overall well being while reaching your weight loss goals.