With September being our ‘new New Year’, we are looking at ways to shake up your exercise routine. Perhaps you fell off the exercise bandwagon over the summer holidays? Or perhaps you decided to take some structured rest time. Giving your body a break is a great way to re-charge and re-set ready for new beginnings, but maybe you feel it’s time to get back into it? Or maybe you got stuck in a rut over the summer and need to find your exercise mojo again. An exercise routine can be really helpful, but the key to a great routine is variety. At CONTOUR we are here to help you shake up your routine this September!

A regular exercise routine will increase your fitness and energy levels, you’ll tone up, you may start to sleep better, and we can guarantee that you will feel better. But we all get to that stage where the huge and positive gains you saw at the beginning start to plateau. Without visible or measurable change, it is easy for your motivation to flatten off too. Mixing up your routine is the key to a good exercise plan, keeping you focussed and allowing you to see continued improvements. A varied routine also means that you give your body a bit of a break, muscles you recruited in the last work out can rest while you use and strengthen new areas. This will help you get stronger all round and means your body is less prone to injury.

Signs you are in an exercise rut:

1. You are lacking motivation

Finding you don’t have the same motivation to get to your class or complete your training is often related to boredom. If you are doing the same routine over and over, your body will no longer feel pushed. An exercise routine should be stimulating for your brain as well as your body, making it an all over challenge.

2. You are making excuses not to exercise

I get it, I’ve been there! At the moment for me, it is usually related to disturbed sleep as my littlest one seems to want to party in the early hours instead of sleeping. But if it’s not lack of sleep, I’ve been guilty of many more excuses; it’s raining and I’ll get wet on the way to the studio, I don’t have the right gym kit ready, I’ve got too much work on. The list of excuses are endless, this is a sure sign you need to mix things up and get yourself excited about exercising again.

3. You get busy

Sometimes we can find ourselves arranging other activities that make it difficult to exercise. If exercise is one of your top priorities try to think ahead, maybe that extra glass of wine the night before might make it more difficult to get up for your class? You don’t need to punish yourself, it’s just about staying motivated and deciding what will move you closer to achieving your exercise goals and what will stand in your way.

4. The same muscles are always sore

This is a sure sign you need to mix it up and recruit some of your other muscle groups by trying out different activities or routines.

5. You are not seeing improvement

In many sports, improvement can be quantitively measured, you might beat your PB in a 10k race for example, but can the same theory of measurable results apply to Pilates? Yes! You should definitely be seeing visible progress. Perhaps you are getting more toned, proof that

your muscles are developing. Perhaps you can do more reps than you previously could, or are you using more resistance now? Maybe your posture is improving, or you have the strength to hold moves for longer. If you are not seeing these kinds of improvements, you have most likely reached an exercise plateau.

Variety is the key to a good exercise routine. It makes it much more interesting for you and means you are much more likely to make exercise a habit. Most of the time any workout is better than none (unless you are injured or overtraining) but why not use this time in September to have a fresh start and really examine your workout routine. Is it taking you to where you want to be? Are you enjoying it and are you seeing improvements? If you have any doubts, have a look at where you can spice things up a little, are there any repetitive areas you could look at changing or developing?

Next week on the blog I’ll be looking in more detail at the variety of classes we offer from beginners reformer to mixed ability reformer, Cardio Jump Reformer classes, Dynamic Power Pilates and Barre classes. Maybe it’s time to try something new and really mix things up!