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Interval training can breathe new life into your weight-loss workout.
For some people who wish to lose weight, developing a routine is key. But if you aren't the type of person who favors the idea of taking a 60-minute walk at the same time each day, mixing up your workout can keep you engaged as you work toward your weight-loss goal. Changing your routines can also prevent your muscles from adapting to a familiar workout and reaching a plateau that slows your progress. Keeping your workouts varied can be as simple as performing different forms of cardio or trying up-tempo interval training.
Increase Your Intensity
If exercising at a moderate intensity has made your workouts monotonous or resulted in a plateau, mix things up by stepping up your pace. Changing your intensity, which can be as simple as turning a walk into a jog, provides a new challenge to your cardiovascular system and muscles alike. Given that moderate-intensity activities require about twice as much time to lead to weight-loss results as vigorous-intensity activities, increasing your pace can mean short, engaging workouts.
Find New Ways to Feel the Burn
Varying your weight-loss exercises throughout the week can help each session feel engaging, rather than something you dread because of the repetition. Beyond changing the intensity of your workouts, look for varying ways to elevate your heart rate and get your body in motion. Check which recreational sports leagues are available in your city and give volleyball, soccer or flag football a try. Not every activity needs to fit a traditional description of exercise. For example, play tag with your kids or cut your lawn by hand to burn more calories throughout the day.
Add a Partner
Working out alone allows you to clear your head and enjoy a few rare moments of solitude, but enlisting a workout partner can change things up. For best results, pick someone who has similar weight-loss goals, as you can provide accountability for each other and offer encouragement when your goals seem distant. Many forms of aerobic exercise, including walking, jogging, step aerobics and hiking are effective partner activities. For convenience, pick a fellow gym member, a nearby neighbor or a family member.
Change Things Up With Interval Training
A weight-loss workout that fits the description of an activity that is constantly changing is interval training. This up-tempo workout often uses short bursts -- often a minute in length -- of aerobic exercise and resistance training to not only burn calories and boost your metabolism, but also prevent workout boredom. A short interval training workout can be more effective than a longer traditional cardio session. Create an interval workout with activities that you enjoy and that provide a challenge. For example, blend intervals of jumping rope or riding a stationary bicycle with body-weight exercises such as pushups, squats or burpees. Allow time for a recovery period after the high-intensity intervals and keep your strength-training exercises consistently varied to avoid hitting plateaus.