No, I’m not talking about your 401K. Although I’m pretty sure that’s good advice as well.
If you’ve been doing the same workout for awhile, say two weeks or so, your body has already learned how to cheat and burn fewer calories (no matter what the screen on your elliptical says.) Sure, you’re moving and probably breaking a sweat but your body is being less and less challenged each time – especially if you’re sticking with the same program, level, time, or resistance.
‘But Amy,’ you say, ‘I like what I’m doing. I don’t want want to change. Also, I don’t know what to do differently.’
Somewhere along the line people got it into their heads that you have to stay on one piece of cardio equipment for the whole 20-30 minutes you’re working out. What if instead you spent 5 minutes on 6 different machines – rower, bike, elliptical, treadmill, stairmill, skiier, or climber? I’ll bet you’ll work harder knowing you only have to be on each piece of equipment for a limited time. Plus, you’ll avoid boredom, hit more muscle groups, burn more calories and possibly find a new favorite exercise.
Try a little variety every other workout. If you do that, going back to 30 minutes on the Elliptical every so often will be a “new” workout and you’ll get more out of the time you’re spending at the gym.
Other ways to diversify:
- Go outside – the terrain makes the same distance on the treadmill or stationary bike seem easy.
- Try a class
- Do your regular circuit backwards. You’ll be amazed how much different it feels.
- Choose a new program
- Up the resistance, speed, or incline – whatever the machines options are, change them.