Your comfort zone is a nice warm cuddly place to hang out, but not necessarily the best state for your work out efforts.
According to Lifehacker one definition of "comfort zone" is:
Simply, your comfort zone is a behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk. It provides a state of mental security. You benefit in obvious ways: regular happiness, low anxiety, and reduced stress.
This sounds like a great place to be - sitting on the front porch in your rocking chair with that first cup of coffee in the morning. But it's not really where you want to be in workout mode.
I find myself becoming complacent in my workout routine, doing the same things, taking the same walks, watching the same videos because I'm COMFORTABLE with them. Walking the treadmill in bad weather with my headphones on listening to a book on Audible is NOT challenging. It gets the job done, but basically on autopilot.
So it's time to get out of my comfort zone because I'm getting bored with my routine and not seeing results that I would like. Here are some tips on how to break out of your workout comfort zone:
Try a new video with a different form of exercise.
I have my favorites, but browsing YouTube there are literally thousands of free videos available. Pick something you've never tried - maybe Pilates, maybe Yoga, maybe Kickboxing - and give it a chance. You won't be good at it, it will be challenging, and it will make new muscles sore. But these are good things!
Push a little harder.
Walking the Lincoln Loop in the park is 1.5 miles and takes me the same amount of time to complete a circuit. So I've added in some spurts of jogging. Now at 61 years old, jogging hasn't been on my agenda, but guess what - I can do it! And by challenging myself to "make it to the next lamp post" before stopping I've built up the time and distance. Yes, my calves were sore and my heart was pounding - but it felt great!
Focus on the rewards of that extra effort.
After pushing yourself and experiencing those little extra aches and pains, be mindful of your feeling of euphoria and accomplishment. You did it! Something you weren't aware of you could do and you need to bask in that feeling of accomplishment and remember it for next time.
Add in some spontaneity.
If your routine is to take an evening walk around a certain path, try an early morning walk in a different direction. Drive to a state park and do some hiking in nature instead of walking city blocks. If you always head for the treadmill or elliptical machine at the gym tackle some of those scary-looking weight lifting machines instead. Changing your routine will keep your body guessing, new muscles working, and your brain stimulated.
Your body and mind need to be challenged. Venture out of your workout comfort zone and try something new. You'll be glad you did!