You’ve started moving more and you’ve stuck to it for a little while. You’re feeling like it’s time to step things up a bit. Yay you!
How should you step things up though? That’s up to you to some extent and will depend somewhat on your goals as well as how much time you can realistically commit to exercise each week. Like with all things – be realistic in what you can do. It’s more important to be consistent than to smash yourself one week and then have to spend the next week recovering.
There are, however, three main ways you can step things up that you should take into consideration.
1. Increasing the duration of your workouts
Initially add an extra 10-15 minutes to one of your sessions. If you’re doing multiple sessions, you can add the time onto all of them as you become accustomed to the change. Start with adding it to just one session first and go from there.
2. Increasing the number of sessions you do in a week
Add one extra session to your schedule for the week. Make sure you get used to having the extra session before you change things around any further. It can be a big jump in activity depending on how long you’ve been at it and what exercise you are doing.
3. Increasing the intensity of your current sessions
To do this you might add or increase the amount of resistance used, reduce rest periods, move faster (if appropriate), add some additional short, sharp cardio intervals between strength work etc. There are many ways you could do this. Just start with one and look to add more once you’ve adjusted and feeling good about your current level.
As you can see, the first two options require an additional time commitment. For some people this is the natural next option when it comes to stepping things up but some of you just don’t have the time to commit to adding extra exercise minutes to your schedule. If that’s you, focus for now on the third option and increase the intensity of your workouts – slowly and steadily.
Whichever of the three options seems right for your personal goals and your lifestyle is the place to start when it’s time to start stepping things up. Not sure if it’s time to start stepping things up? We have another post about how you can tell here: When Should I Step Things Up?