TIP: Throw in the towel (but just for a few days).
If you've been grinding away at an exercise program for more than four weeks and aren't seeing commensurate payoffs, then you may need to take time off. "Rest is just as important as exercise in the total body equation," Weitzenberg says. To progress over time and bust a plateau, you must exercise, take time off to rejuvenate, and then come back with a renewed vigor.
Try this Review your exercise program over the past month, and if a period of rest is warranted (if, say, you're doing more than two high-intensity cardio sessions a week or not taking a complete day off between strength workouts), then take a two- to three-day break from exercise. Spend the time that you would normally be working out recuperating: Take a daily nap or a long soak in the tub. You'll come back to your routine better equipped to achieve results.