Exercise is an intrinsically healthy addition to your daily routine for losing weight, increasing calorie burn, boosting your metabolism, and building muscles so you can be comfortable with your body. Realistically, the best form of exercise is one that you can hold on to over the long term and that you are happy to incorporate into your everyday life.
That being said, there are still exercise mistakes you can make that can hinder your weight loss – especially when it comes to cardio. While cardio is essential in your exercise program to improve the functionality of your lungs and heart, and to improve the quality of your life, there is one major mistake you could make that is holding up weight loss and getting in the way of your success.
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Just as there is such a thing as infrequent exercise, doing the same exercise too often can also have a significant impact on your health, according to Tonal Coach Gabby Sansosti – NASM-CPT. It can be easy to repeat the same workout at the same intensity over and over again when you’re comfortable, but if you’re hoping to keep your swing and develop lasting habits, this isn’t a sustainable cardio approach.
“The body longs for a change in your exercise routine and it is necessary to keep seeing results,” explains Sansoti. “The body becomes more efficient with the routine over time, which in turn uses fewer calories, leading to a plateau in your weight loss.”
Keeping the variety in your workout and mixing up the routine each day is critical to making the workout enjoyable and to cementing that habit into your routine. If you find yourself bored with the one workout that you repeat over and over again, you may be inclined to stop exercising altogether and take the weight loss results off the table entirely.
However, if you just do the same exercise over and over without making it difficult, at some point your body will stop being challenged and eventually stop making progress. Progressive overload is essential to achieving lasting results over time, and when you get to an impasse with cardio it deprives you of the potential to increase your strength and proficiency.
In addition, exercising too long can also reduce the effects on your body, and while it may seem like you burn more calories the longer you exercise, it may not necessarily be the case. “The longer your cardio session, the less intense it is, and high intensity is key to losing fat,” notes Sansoti. “In addition, a lack of motivation is inevitable for most of the people due to the redundancy of the most common forms of cardio.”
Instead, try alternating between a variety of different forms of cardio like biking, running, or walking while expending as much energy as possible during a shorter session. This will keep you from getting bored and increase fat loss the harder you work. HIIT Cardio is also a valuable tool to add to your training arsenal, allowing you to try out a range of different exercise movements to challenge different areas of your body.
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut once you find a routine that works for you, but adding variety to your workouts is one of the best ways to ensure that your body keeps developing and getting stronger. If your goal is to maintain your fitness level, this may be fine, but it is likely that at some point you will get tired of repeating the same exercise every day and stop exercising altogether as soon as your body plateaus.
When you incorporate a mix of different forms of cardio combined with strength training into your routine, your body can ultimately achieve the best results, gain strength, and improve your general wellbeing as you reach your weight loss goals.