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Breaking Out of Your Exercise Rut

Jackie Wright/ The Fitness Trail
Grand County, CO Colorado

(Second in a two-part series)

Last week we highlighted four exercise rut prevention strategies. This week, we will feature four more to add to your arsenal. As mentioned last week, these strategies may help you to avoid the poor exercise results, lack of adherence and drop out that tend to follow exercise ruts. As always, please consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.

Exercise Rut-Prevention Strategies



In addition to the S.A.I.D. Principle, Cross Training, Periodization (F.I.T.T. Principle) and Progressive Overload Principle we featured last week, the following are also helpful exercise-rut prevention strategies:

• Reversibility Principle – This principle states that if you don’t use it, you will lose it. In fact, in as little as 48 hours the muscles can begin to atrophy (i.e. waste away). Understanding this principle and learning to avoid it may help you avoid exercise ruts. Therefore, as an example, when referring to muscular strength training, most of you will need to perform effective exercises, two to three times per week for all major muscle groups in order to maintain desired muscle mass. Additionally, you may need to periodically modify your strength training program (i.e. Periodization), in order to maintain the mass you have gained and once adaptation has occurred, you should consider increasing the frequency, intensity, time or type of exercise to continue improving.



• Fitness Assessments – Have regular fitness assessments performed by a certified, qualified fitness professional. Establish a base line of your cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength/endurance and flexibility as well as your body composition, girth measurements and body weight first. Then, regularly be reassessed. There is nothing that takes the place of seeing the data supporting your progress. Knowing that your body has moved in the direction you intended is a huge motivator and may alleviate the sensation that you are experiencing an exercise rut. In fact, seeing the positive data may completely change your perception of your exercise program spurring you on to greater success.

• The Little Things Matter – Eventually, no matter how committed you are to your exercise program, life will happen and you may occasionally have to miss a session or two. And, missing workouts tends to create that feeling that we might have fallen into an exercise rut. Therefore, even if you can get out and walk for 30 minutes or perform a few pushups, lunges, abs/core work or pull ups, your body may still benefit. And, when the crisis has subsided, because you have continued performing some beneficial exercise, you may be able to get right back on track again avoiding that rut and potential drop out.

• Have Some Fun – While Periodization is a planned modification to your exercise program that is essential to ensuring safety and effectiveness of exercise, every once in a while, just try something completely new. Take a dance class like Latin Blaze, try a Yoga-Pilates class or Boot Camp/Interval Training class where you are coached/trained by a certified, qualified instructor/trainer and just have some fun. Having fun while you get fit is a huge motivator and may stop you from falling into that exercise rut.

Next week, we learn how to unleash that champion within us.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com


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