Life is for learning and growing. As we go through the many lessons that are presented to us daily we grow or expand multi-dimensionally. Sometimes we take the easiest road while other paths take us up above and over the most challenging mountain peaks imaginable. Considering what growing and expanding brings us in the long run let's focus on stretching our comfort zones in all we do. You can stretch your zone in baby steps or take giant leaps by trying new foods or activities or facing your fears head on.
Have you ever reached a point during a diet or exercise program where your progress ceases completely? This is a natural progression that occurs when your body has reached a maintenance point where you are able to stay at your current weight doing exactly what you have been doing. It can be very challenging to work through these plateaus especially when you have a long way to go to reach your ultimate goal. How can you get through a plateau? Stretch your comfort zone!
When looking to stretch your zone physically you must focus on both your diet and exercise regime. By making minor changes you can continue to drop weight and body fat while building muscle until you reach your next plateau. When reviewing your diet look for areas to minimize calorie intake as well as fat. For example by replacing light salad dressing with your regular, eliminating cheese on your sandwich, using light whole grain bread, or a whole wheat tortilla at lunch you can save yourself 100 to 200 calories for the day!
When looking for ways to move above in your exercise program consider increasing the intensity of your cardio, increasing the time of your cardio, days overall of your routine, and definitely mix up your strength training program. Some ideas here are add an extra day to your routine which will add an additional 200 to 500 calories burned per week! If you do not have the time, step up your cardio intensity by utilizing the levels of intensity and incline on the machine. It is also highly recommended that you change your routine every 90 days. When changing your strength training routine you can change the exercise, reps, or sets as well. You can also vary your schedule each week. For example, rotate upper body and lower body or each day focus on a different muscle group such as chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps, back and lower body.
I encourage you to stretch your comfort zone today without delay! You'll be so glad you did!