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Now that autumn is falling into place with its brisker weather and shorter days, what better time than now to restructure your workouts to not only to accommodate the cooler days and shorter daylight, but to jolt your muscles into getting even stronger and fitter.

In order for your body to keep developing and becoming more fit, your workout program has to keep changing. When you continue to repeat the same workout over and over again without altering it, you prevent your body from evolving and making any gains. Your mile times won’t approve. Your bench press won’t make an impact. Your exercises won’t be effective. All because you forced your body to hit a plateau. You muscles have become accustomed to what you are doing and are no longer responding at the level they once did.

Muscles react to change. They actually thrive on it by growing stronger, bigger, firmer, and toner. Change is their fuel. Fat also reacts to change. If you change up the exercise routine, not only will your body be continually challenged, but it will also burn more calories, resulting in a more successful weight loss. In addition, you avoid boredom and prevent possible injuries.

You should switch up your exercises about every four to twelve weeks or whenever you feel like you aren’t improving anymore. Typically, I change my workout routine four times a year, often coinciding with the change of the seasons. So now that autumn is falling into place with its brisker weather and shorter days, what better time to restructure my workouts to accommodate the cooler days and shorter daylight. Now my workouts occur mainly indoors, starting with a 6:00 am fitness class three days a week for one hour. This is following by a run on the treadmill and then abs. Alternating days I continue my runs and abs but add weight training and Pilates. Plus two days a week I swim and one I bike. I will also be starting with a new trainer to continue with the change up and help me target particular areas.

But a changeup shouldn’t be just for your workout routine. When it’s time to change your exercises, you should also take the opportunity to re-evaluate your diet. Is it as healthy as it should be? Is there any way you can improve your eating lifestyle? Have you been slipping back to past bad eating habits?

For me when it’s just me by myself, I often fall into the rut of eating almost the same foods for at least breakfast and lunch. So with the changing of my gym workout in combination of less availability of fresh seasonal fruits at the supermarket, I have also changed up my daily diet. Breakfast is now oatmeal with unsweetened applesauce, walnuts, cinnamon, blueberries and strawberries while lunch is a boneless chicken breast and a green vegetable. Snacks are nuts, banana or carrots. Dinner is usually on the run and may be as simple as organic peanut butter on 100% whole wheat bread or a fresh fish dish at a favorite restaurant.

The bottom line is that with dedication and determination, your fitness goals are achievable. Stay discipline and remember to change up your exercise routine regularly. Get creative and explore new and exciting fitness routines. If you feel you are at a loss as to how to change your workout, seek the advice of a trainer from your gym who may provide wonderful new moves for you to try. Any way you change it up, it’s the change that’s the key to your fitness success.

Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.