By Pallavi Sharma
Has this ever happened to you?
You have been slogging it out over the treadmill and the elliptical and the stairmaster (the list can go on but I would just leave it to the three most popular ones), but your ideal expectation of “work put in is directly proportional to result” seems to be more theoretical than practical.
Have you been eating right and healthy through out to the point where your food tastes bland, boring and inedible.
Are you frustrated and waiting for a miracle to happen when one fine Saturday afternoon as you step on the scales you see a major dip in your body weight!
I am sure for most of my readers it is one of those “been-there-done-that” situation which we popularly address as “attaining a plateau”. This issue depressed me for days until I decided to get to the root cause of the problem. I read through numerous health, diet and fitness articles and magazines, and after feeling significantly educated in this area, I decided to change my routine and schedule.
What I did not realise is something called “muscle memory”, a common term for neuromuscular facilitation, which is the process of the neuromuscular system memorizing motor skills (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle_memory). When you tend to stick to a strict schedule in terms of daily exercise and diet, your body tends to get used to or memorizes that schedule/pattern. It will know that exactly at 8 AM you consume a bowl of cereal and that precisely from 7 to 7:30 pm you run a few miles and then from 7:30 to 8 pm you work the elliptical and you continue to do this for days together. Initially you may see a few inches off your waist, your clothes fit you better and the indicator on the scales doesnt swing as far to the right as it used to. But this is not it. You would want to continue to see changes in your body which hasnt been happening for a pretty long time, simply because your body knows exactly how much to push and not to put in any extra effort.
These are the times when one needs to change and shuffle one’s schedule up. Most health clubs these days offer a variety of different equipments and even group fitness classes which are highly effective and quite entertaining and fun at the same time. From being a hardcore gym person, I moved on to Yoga. This changed my body tremendously and watching it become leaner, stronger and sexier made me feel confident and happy again. The yoga sculpt class offered at corepoweryoga, which helped me the most entails intense strength training, pilates, aerobics, plyometrics and core work for an hour in a heated studio. So in one hour you are able to detoxify yourself due to the heavy sweat, tone your muscles and get a clearer skin! It soon became my favorite type of workout and I kept doing it for months when I realised that my body had attained its plateau again!
I soon joined the Lifetime Fitness, a multi-faceted health club, and started attending their group fitness classes like spinning, fitness yoga, kickboxing, cardio blast, core and many other such great array of exercise classes. Not even a month after joining, my friends started to notice the difference in my body and most importantly the boredom related to doing just one type of exercise slid away. I would look forward to the classes everyday and started enjoying my days. Not to forget that swimming helped me alot during times when my joints would me mildly sore due to over-training and excessive running. Yoga was great for my joints as it helped me with stretching, balancing and making my limbs and arms quite supple. Along with mixing up my exercises, I also brought bout significant changes in my diet. I began incorporating different kinds of healthy recipes and food items in my daily meals and eating home-cooked food was fun again.
Variety was the answer to my problem. Thats what did it for me and in my humble opinion it is one way in which one can challenge the vicious plateau and bid it good bye!