Are you in an exercise rut?  Feel like you are doing the same thing over and over, and not seeing results?  Or maybe you are bored with your exercise, so it's more tempting to skip the workout?

What you really need is a change of pace.  Our bodies adapt to the stresses that we put on it.  This is how we get stronger, and fitter.  If we keep doing the same routines, we don't make any fitness gains and if we're in weight-loss mode, that's when we'll see plateaus.

I like running on the beach.  There is something about the salty air, and the sound of the waves crashing that make a jog along the shore feel like a privilege, not a chore.  And yet, in order for me to improve my fitness while beach running, I had to be creative, in figuring out how far/how fast I run, so that I could look for improvement.  Lucky for me, there are lots of apps for smart phones that will do just that, and some of them are even free.  (I like Runkeeper for my Android these days). 

I also make sure to take my heart rate monitor with me, so I can more accurately track how hard I am working.  For fitness gains, which is my aim, along with weight-loss, I'm looking to be working in a HR zone, and I’m looking to do intervals in a second/third zone.  I'm not looking to run faster, just for the sake of speed, which is good, because the sand conditions (low tide is packed sand, great for running, high-tide, softer sand, more of a workout for the same speed) are constantly changing. If I just looked at speed, I might be deceived by the days that I’m slogging thru quicksand (high-tide), when I compare those speeds to the low-tide days on packed sand.  The numbers on my watch give me a more accurate picture of how hard I'm working, and I can then adjust my pace, based on where I want my HR to be for the workout.

Meanwhile, I had it in my head, that when  I got the beach, I'd turn left (to the east) and run out and back.  The wind patterns are such here, that the wind is mostly out of the west.  I'd cruise on the way out, and struggle on the way home, if the wind was fierce.  My husband made the simple suggestion that I run west first.  A very simple suggestion.  And yet, I feel like I'm running a whole different beach.  In a way, I am, since I'm passing different terrain.  Heading west means I have more jetties to hurdle over, but I think it's worth the trade-off of battling the wind in the beginning of my run, when I'm fresh, and being able to have the wind at my back to cruise back home.  A simple change, has readjusted my attitude, and my runs are much more enjoyable.

Sometimes it the little things that will help you get back on track, and sometimes, you might want to revamp the whole program.  Your NASM Elite Trainers can help you design a custom exercise program, and we'll keep changing it up for you each month, so that you don't get stuck in a rut.  Of course we can't help you if we don't know that you need help, so give a shout if you want our assistance.