Basically in a nutshell for your body to respond and adapt you must apply a stimulus or load and continue to apply for further adaptations to take place. This is why many gym goers that have had the same routine for months on end get bored, there bodies go into a plateau and stop making improvements. If they just added a little variety to their programmes, it could be as easy as trying a different programme on the treadmill with more incline, or adding more speed. If you are a lady that does visit the free weight section (yey!) try lifting something heavier so you feel challenged to do 3 sets of 10 reps for example.
Often little changes can be enough to get you excited about your routine again. If you are overweight and perhaps the gym is not your scene yet, here are some 'overload' ideas you can implement into your daily activities.
- The weather is ideal for getting outside. Walking is a very good start (you will burn some fat, as fat is burnt in low moderate activity when oxygen is present). So set yourself a target, perhaps around the block is 1 mile. Week 1 you are going to walk around that circuit once on say 2 - 3 days of the week. Week 2 aim to walk around twice, this doesn't necessarily have to be done at the same time. You could do it once in the morning and once in the evening or different days, again aim for 2 - 3 days of that week. Week 3 you could aim for 3 times or better your times from the previous week (a stopwatch would be ideal as you can also write down your times in a diary or note book). You will pay more attention to something that is written down.
- Similar idea to above, walking out with a 'pedometer'. We are told we should be doing a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. So using this as an eventual goal you could start with 2,500 steps for example Week 1 on say 3 days of the week. Aim for 5,000 steps on 2 days of the week and perhaps the weekend see what your maximum number of steps is. It's surprising how quickly they add up. (Note 3,000 steps is roughly the equivalent of 30 minutes walking).
- A trip to the supermarket, if you use your car (which sadly many of us have to) aim to park in the furthest most place in the car park, not near the front entrance. Also rather than bring your shopping back to your car in the trolley, carry your bags. This will work both your heart and lungs (because if its heavy you may get out of breath) and you are putting some positive stress through your bones.
Each week you have applied the principle of overload as you are asking your body to do a little more each time. All of these will lead to positive changes, which you can easily progress (well at least the first two). You'll start to feel lighter on your feet, better in yourself and more motivated.
Remember small changes add up to making the bigger picture, here's to your success.
All the best