Mix it up for maximum results

Stuck in an exercise rut? Going to the same classes, doing the same gym programme, same number of lengths in the pool or distance on the treadmill? Or perhaps your rut is a bottom-shaped one on the sofa…

No matter what exercise you do and how tough it feels to begin with, your body gradually adapts to what you throw at it, and it gets easier. Eventually, you hit a plateau in your fitness levels or weight loss, and when that happens it’s easy to lose motivation.

Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to mix it up with these 4 simple ways to keep your routine fresh. They’ll help you avoid boredom and injury, and keep seeing results, whatever you’re into.

Swimming: Make each swim session count by including intervals. For example, for every 5 lengths you swim, sprint one, then recover for 1 minute. Swimtag swim tracker and training aid (free to all members) offers a range of training plans, for all abilities, plus exciting challenges, like swimming the Channel (at your own pace!). And if fundraising would be an added motivator, you could sign up for April’s Swimathon18.

Gym: Ask the fitness team to review your programme. Let them know what exercises or machines you enjoy so they can show you different ways to use them. Make sure you also tell them what you don’t like so they can replace it with something else – possibly some of these super effective full body gym moves. Schedule another review in for 6-8 weeks – the time it will take for your body to adapt to your new programme.

Classes: One of the many benefits of classes is that the routine you follow will probably change every few months – just long enough for you to master the moves and feel like you’re rocking it, but not so long that it gets too comfortable. But variety is the spice of fitness, and another class may give you the heady rush of new love that you’ve been missing, so take look at what classes your local #ActivePlace offers.

Try something new! Doing new things has several physical and psychological benefits so how about trying a new activity – if not for you, for Sport Relief? This year, the traditional sponsored run/walk a mile is extended to ‘Whatever Moves You’, so everyone can get involved, regardless of what they’re into.


In support of Sport Relief, loads of our leisure centres are holding open days over the weekend of March 17-18, offering free taster sessions in a variety activities - from group exercise classes, to badminton, to gym and swimming. Why not see what’s happening in your area, then come along and do #WhateverMovesYou? It may just be the change you’ve been needing.