Sunday, March 13, 2016

Step outside your fitness comfort zone.

I did something this weekend that I have never done before: I modeled clothing at a fashion show. I live in a small lakeside town that caters to tourists, but at this time of year, the tourists aren't really around so a number of the businesses get together regularly to give locals (and some tourists) a reason to come out. This weekend's event catered to women, and was complete with a fashion show and late-night shopping downtown. One of the girls that works for me does the show regularly, and she asked myself and one of our members (pictured below) to participate with her this year.

Normally, we two girls are found all sweaty in spandex. But this weekend, we got dressed up to represent...and we had so much fun! I was incredibly nervous, but the cute outfit and solid updo helped me walk a little taller.

Thing is, every so often, it's good to do something different. Something you’ve never done before that makes you nervous AND excites you both physically and mentally.

In this post, I want to place emphasis on “physically,” and here’s why: It’s very easy to get locked into a fitness routine. Yes, routines can be good, but running the same miles on the treadmill or doing the same strength exercises week after week can diminish their effects. So as we stare down Monday and a new week, I want you to think about this:

According to the American Council on Exercise, “many of the body’s physiological systems adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks.”

At adaptation, it becomes harder to meet milestones or achieve goals. In the fitness world, we call this a plateau. Plateaus can be very, very frustrating. They can also be avoided if you switch up your routine. This may seem daunting, but your options are truly endless.

Here are a few quick ideas:
1) Add miles or intervals to your treadmill run. Play with speed and (or) incline.
2) Pick up heavier weights. Experiment with more or less repetitions.
3) Incorporate different styles of exercise, like HIIT or bodyweight work.
4) Try a group fitness class and let someone else lead you.

We recently added aerial yoga classes to the group fitness schedule at my gym. Many of our members look at the hammocks with equal parts intimidation and interest. “I love yoga, but I’m not sure I can hang upside down,” people say. Consider this: You never know what you can or cannot do (or what something will actually be like) until you try it.

You have to be willing to put (or push) yourself outside of your fitness comfort zone to really experience the side effects of a great sweat session. True change is made when you take yourself to the edge…or maybe even beyond it.

Do you know where the edge of your fitness comfort zone is?

Step just beyond it and be inspired by your own ability to ignite change from within. Then, when you eventually find yourself in a new fitness comfort zone, repeat the process again (and again) to see everlasting change.

Your homework:

Think about the week ahead of you. What is your workout schedule going to be like? Same as last week? Where can you do something different? How can you switch things up a little to push yourself a bit harder? Is this the week where you'll finally try that class you've been eyeing up?

Question: How will you change up your fitness routine this week?

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