The Plateau - Opportunity Knocks

posted Jun 3, 2015, 12:43 PM by Walk Strong Calgary   [ updated Jun 3, 2015, 12:52 PM ]
Ugh! You've been making such good progress and suddenly find yourself standing still, or rather, your scale appears to be stuck on the same number for days and days and days... You've said some bad words to it and have even given it a kick now and then to no avail. You shake your fist at it and holler, "Why aren't you MOVING?!?!?" I think we've all been there at some point... that dreaded plateau. 

Consider this - it actually takes a lot of work and effort to reach a plateau. You could consider it a marker for achievement and an opportunity for you to look back and see how far you've come. In fact, if you're happy where you are, realize how far you've progressed and have already reached your goal, a plateau is a very good thing. It's possible to over train, which can lead to injury, so if your goal is met... A plateau? Whoo hoo! (lol!) We look at them in a negative sense when they cause us to feel stuck or stalled, with the goal somewhere in the future.                     (image courtesy africa freedigitalphotos.net)
If the latter describes you, I encourage you to look at it as an opportunity, not a setback. 

As mentioned above, this is a chance to check your progress to date. It's also a time to celebrate your accomplishments - no, not with an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen... Invite some friends to go on a hike with you, go swimming or sit in the hot tub and visit, or even invite them over to play cards. It will take your mind off the issue at hand and sometimes we get in a rut because we're so worried about it, and anxiety and stress can impact your body. Get out and have some healthy fun! 

Here's another tip: Try looking at a plateau as a new starting point for your next level of progress. It's a time to gather your strength, take a look at your current program, and start to make some changes. Sometimes even small changes can have a big impact, especially if you throw in a new activity. 

Your body is very adaptive. Think back to when you first started out. Someone new to exercise will typically see results faster, but over time progress doesn't come so easily. It actually makes sense, because as your body becomes stronger and you gain endurance, your heart and lungs are stronger and they don't have to work as hard, so you're not burning as many calories. In one of her DVDs, Leslie Sansone once said: "Are you at a plateau? Change your workout." That makes perfect sense based on your body's design. Throw something new in. Surprise your body. Bump up the resistance. Pick a running route with hills instead of level terrain (this is great interval training!). Or maybe you need a bigger change by trying a completely new program. Have some fun trying new things. The most important thing is.........  Don't you dare give up!

(above image courtesy hin255 freedigitalphotos.net)

Nancy Ehle is a Group Fitness Instructor Certified by the American Council on Exercise as well as a Certified Walk Leader through Leslie Sansone's Walk Live program. She holds several other industry certifications including Health Coach and Sports Nutrition as well as several specialties. Her passion for life, health and wellness shine through in her infectious smile and her energy. Join her on Facebook:  Facebook.com/WalkStrongCalgary



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