We are constantly bombarded with messages about how important frequent exercise is. Not everyone loves to work out, but many of us do it to stay in shape.
One of the biggest problems that comes with establishing an exercise routine is to find variety.
If you get easily bored with running, biking, or just going to the gym, you will quickly get burned out by doing the same workout routine every week.
If you need a little variety to keep you motivated, here are a few ideas to spice up any workout routine:
Just Add Music
The next time you hit the gym, consider adding your own rhythm into the mix. Yes, some facilities have their own music and televisions, however, making your own playlist to get you in the zone can make all the difference.
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Sometimes, there’s nothing that gets your adrenaline pumping like some good, high-energy music. Pick songs that convey a sense of power and make you want to move!
This actually helps boost testosterone during workouts, which means better results for both men and women. Be sure to change your playlist occasionally, too. If you listen to the same songs repeatedly for too long, they start losing their effect.
Go for a Swim
Remember how great it felt to go swimming when you were a kid? Being in the water makes you light, flexible and graceful, and you don’t tire as easily.
It’s also an ideal way to beat the summer heat. If you’re a fan of the water, why not make it part of your exercise routine? Swimming provides a healthy low-impact workout, and good resistance for muscle training.
If you get bored with walking on the treadmill or elliptical, alternate your workout days so that you can hit the pool a few times a week—this will add a little variety to an otherwise mundane schedule.
Hike a Forest Trail
If you’re fortunate enough to have a large park or state forest with hiking trails nearby, it can be a great way to spice up your mind-numbing routine.
You don’t just get the cardio benefits when walking across rugged, hilly terrain—you’ll also feel the benefits of exercising in nature. Research has found that when people exercise in green spaces, their workouts are more effective and enjoyable and their mood is enhanced.
Use the Buddy System
Most things in life are better when you share them with someone else, and exercise is no different. For this reason, consider making your fitness routine a group affair.
Studies show that people who have an exercise buddy are better able to stick with it, possibly due to decreased boredom and increased moral support. A mindless walk on the treadmill will go by much quicker if you have someone to talk to. You’ll be surprised at how painless a workout can be with a good friend by your side. This will also keep you accountable so that you don’t bail on a workout.
Make it Incidental
Are you one of those people who doesn’t really like exercise, but you do it anyway because it’s good for you? If so, working out for its own sake is probably a tedious drag for you every week.
You can get around this by practicing incidental exercise. This means that you’re getting real, beneficial fitness results from performing everyday tasks that you have to do anyway.
Examples include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, carrying in more grocery bags at once, and walking or bicycling instead of driving.
No matter what your goals are, it’s important to keep your fitness routine interesting and stimulating. If you let it get bland, you’re more likely to drop out entirely. The next time your exercise regimen goes sour, try incorporating some of these tips to perk it back up.