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Three Ways to Tell If Your Exercise Routine is Effective

It's not uncommon to fall into an exercise rut, of sorts. We start a routine and, for a while, it works for us. We are seeing promising results, it's difficult but isn't killing us, and it's still interesting enough each time that we aren't getting burnt out on it. However, as with all things, it must come to an end. But how do we know whether or not our workout is still effective? Sure, we may not be noticing the same weight loss/new muscle tone/increased energy as we were noticing before, but even the most ambitious athletes reach plateaus in their workout at some point or another. So what are some signs that we need to up the ante in the gym? Below, you'll find a few markers to watch out for, which may indicate that you need to switch things up:

#1: You're chatting your way through your routine. 

Assuming that you're in good health and that your doctor has approved you for regular exercise, you shouldn't be able to talk your way through your workout. Meaning, don't use the gym as an excuse to catch up with your best friends. If you are on the treadmill/elliptical/stationary bike and you're able to spout out more than a few breathless words, then chances are you aren't working hard enough. It's time to put on your headphones, tune out the world around, and up the speed. 

#2: You aren't feeling it the next day. 

Remember when you first started working out regularly and, over the following few days, your legs, arms, and butt felt as though you had put them through a shredder? This is because when you put our body through an effective and intense workout, you are actually causing tiny amounts of damage to your muscle groups. The good thing is that when this happens, your muscles readjust, heal, and eventually grow stronger. When your workouts are no longer causing you to feel any sort of soreness, then it can mean that they have adapted to your current workout and it's time to switch things up again. 

#3: You aren't seeing any changes. 

Now, this doesn't mean that plateaus aren't normal. Because they are. However, if you have been working out regularly and eating well for a couple of months and aren't seeing any sort of expected results, then your exercise routine could be to blame. A healthy transformation is a slow one, but it's definitely not a stagnant one. Add a few weight reps to your routine, or up your mileage on the treadmill, adding some inclines along the way to really spice things up. 


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