Are You in a Rut?

Have you hit a rut in your workout routine?
How would you even know if you are experiencing an exercise rut?
There are some signs that can help determine if you are, in fact, experiencing an exercise rut.

Sign #1: You always focus on only one form of exercise (cardio, strength, core, or flexibility).
Sign #2: You always make excuses to leave the gym early.
Sign #3:  You look at the clock a lot throughout your workout.
Sign #4: You’re not making any progress.
Sign #5: Your body hurts.

After considering the signs, if you feel as though you might be experiencing an exercise rut, here are 16 science-backed ways for you to bounce back from it!

  1. Pump up your play list – Research suggests that music at a certain tempo (125-140 beats per minute) might boost motivation.
  2. Grab a workout buddyGetting our sweat on with someone we think is more fit than we are can increase how long and how hard we work out by up to a whopping 200 percent.
  3. Add interval training to your routineStudies show that just three sessions of sprint interval training can be as effective as five longer, more moderate exercise sessions.
  4. Get outsideExercising outdoors can boost our energy, make us feel more revitalized and positively engaged, and help us cut back on tension, anger, confusion, and depression.
  5. Be more time-efficientBy cutting down on training time, we may actually boost both our energy and our desire to work out.
  6. Perform super setsPerforming one set of an exercise right after another without resting in between will keep our heart rate up, triggering more efficient calorie burn.
  7. Cross trainBranching out from a typical, go-to workout will keep both the body and mind guessing. With each new and different workout, we target different muscle groups, which can reduce the risk for injury, boost fitness levels, and keep boredom at bay.
  8. Track your activityTracking our physical activity and progress can help us figure out smart tweaks to turbo charge our results.
  9. Play a gameConsider signing up for a race (bonus points for one with a theme), joining a local team, or trying alternative workouts like surfing on dry land and anti-gravity aerial yoga.
  10. Take an active rest day – Speed recovery by incorporating strategies, tools, and even gentle workouts like yoga to help boost the healing process.
  11. Mobilize – When our muscles are strained and aren’t working together properly, it can create imbalances in our bodies, which can lead to injury—or at least prevent us from performing at optimum levels.
  12. Rethink your warm-up – Your best bet: a dynamic warm-up, which stretches our muscles as we move, prepping our bodies for the main workout.
  13. Get back to the basics – Rediscover the building blocks of a movement to lift smarter and truly master the technique—and any more advanced variations.
  14. Enlist a trainer – Studies show having a personal trainer supervise our workout makes for a more intense session—and better results.
  15. Focus on nutrition – Consider keeping a food diary to track how certain meals affect performance, and when eating on the cheap, load up on these healthy, completely affordable foods.
  16. Get more sleep – Research shows that sleep may influence how long we spend at the gym the next day and may even increase our risk for packing on pounds.