Step outside your comfort zone (Nexercise user story)

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If you find that your progress toward fitness or weight loss goals has stalled, you may need to step outside the zone – your comfort zone, that is. Although there is something to be said for taking “baby steps,” sometimes we need to make a huge leap and challenge ourselves by doing something completely different and perhaps even scary. This could involve trying a new healthy food or a new class at the gym.

Perhaps when you started your commitment to a healthier lifestyle you made certain changes, cutting back on bad habits and adding better ones, and probably those changes made a difference. But if you have hit a plateau or you aren’t seeing the results you want to, then you need to push yourself harder. For example, it may be time to add more vegetables to your diet, learn to cook from scratch, and rely less on processed foods. Maybe you could try a dance class, yoga, or team sports, just to name a few options – and not just try them but fully incorporate them into your schedule on a regular basis.

In my case, a few months ago I found myself unable to lose weight despite eating well and working out a few hours a week. I added running twice a week to my regular routine (thanks to the Couch to 5K program), and I incorporated more muscle-building and sculpting activities such as kettlebell and Pilates. I also increased my intake of protein, and I saw results very quickly. I was terrified walking into my first kettlebell class, but the experience wasn’t so bad. In fact, I really liked it, so much so that I bought a kettlebell to use at home now.

This is a hard pill for many to swallow, but the truth is that if what you’re doing now isn’t working, you must do something different. If the prospect of a certain change is frightening, that’s a good sign that you’re on the right track. Your comfort zone is what got you to an unhealthy spot. Now it’s time to break out of it!

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