Breaking Through a Fitness Plateau

It’s great when you start to see your efforts to get strong and healthy pay off, but what can you do when--despite your best efforts to maintain your activity and nutrition—your progress slows? This is called a fitness plateau, and while it may be frustrating to find yourself there, you can break through and continue to improve. Keep progressing towards your goals with some of these ideas.

Boost your metabolism with interval training. Instead of spending 40 minutes running at the same pace on a treadmill, try a high intensity interval workout.

Start your day with a brisk walk. According to WebMD, morning is the time of day when simple aerobic exercise increases your metabolism. This is because your liver burns through your carbohydrate stores overnight, so light aerobic exercise first thing in the morning kicks the fat burning enzymes in your liver back into gear.

Keep your body guessing by switching up your varying your workouts. Instead of heading to the elliptical machine or treadmill every day, jump onto the recumbent bike, stair climber, or check out a dance class.

Rest and recharge by getting adequate sleep each night. "One of the most overlooked things that can cause a plateau is not getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night," explains Dr. Michele Olson, an exercise physiologist at Auburn University Montgomery.

Check your food intake. You’ve made changes to your diet, but over time you might have stopped counting the calories that come from quick nibbles of the kids’ leftovers or a handful of crackers from the bowl in the breakroom. Keep a food diary for a few days to get yourself back on track.

A few simple changes to your daily routines can make a big difference in overcoming a fitness plateau. If you’ve busted through one successfully, tweet your best tips to us @CalFit.