If you exercise regularly, then you have probably hit a plateau at some point, though you may not have known what to call it. The human body is strong, specifically the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is designed to adapt to the stresses on the body. Therefore, we are able to gain strength and run farther with persistent training. When we do not make changes to the exercise stimulus (duration, intensity, or type of exercise) our systems will plateau, at which point no further improvements in strength or endurance will occur.
In some cases, extended periods of 'plateauing' can lead to decreases in strength and/or endurance. A natural way to avoid hitting a plateau is to add some variation to your exercise routine. This can easily be done by selecting alternate forms of activity, either in the gym or outside. Athletes refer to this incorporated approach in their training as cross-training. If you are a regular runner, possibly training for marathons, incorporate rollerblading or bike riding once a week or every other week.Is your weekly routine focused primarily on lifting weights? Try classes such as yoga or Zumba for some variety. Find alternate activities that require different patterns of movement and try to build the activities into your routine on a monthly basis. The more variation you build in, the less likely you will be to hit a plateau. Not only will this approach help to prevent hitting plateaus, but it will also help to prevent injury. This approach will help in developing any muscles you may be ignoring under training through your routine.
" Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor. " William Cowper