When you hit a physical fitness plateau it can be especially frustrating – you’re already working hard to stay active and are making time for workouts. Aren’t you doing everything right? So why aren’t your endurance and strength increasing anymore?
If you find yourself struggling to see or feel a difference when you do your usual cardio routine or lift weights, there are several things you can try to re-start results. First of all, consider changing your program, even slightly. Mix in new exercises and movements, work different body areas, and try alternating types of cardio. If you still don’t see a difference, try one of two things to amp up your results in cardio and strength training:
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. These are workouts that alternate between a few seconds to minutes of intensely strenuous exercises followed by short periods of recovery (lower intensity). This allows your heart rate to reach optimal levels while training your heart to recover quickly.
Lift to failure. This is where, while lifting weights, you continue to do reps until you cannot do anymore.
Remember, it’s important to eat a high protein meal within 30 minutes to an hour of your workout to encourage beneficial recovery.
Source: The Mayo Clinic
Audrey Hepburn’s famous quote, “Happy girls are the prettiest,” could be amended to say “Happy girls are the healthiest.”
In a study published by The American Journal of Epidemiology this year and recently shared by the Mayo Clinic,
“Optimistic women live longer than their pessimistic peers.”
The study, which was conducted with 70,000 women, found that those who were more optimistic had a 6% lower risk of mortality. This was primarily linked to their ability to cope with stress, which lowers the body’s ability to fight disease and can cause cardiovascular disease.
Stress raises cortisol (the stress hormone) levels which weakens your body’s ability to fight infections. It also raises blood pressure, which puts stress on your heart and increases your chances of developing heart disease.
The report supported that if you have a positive outlook and you anticipate good occurrences rather than worrying, you are less likely to suffer from constant stress and harmful cortisol levels.
Lower stress paired with healthy habits and healthy coping abilities correlates to a potentially longer lifespan.
Source: The Mayo Clinic, The American Journal of Epidemiology