The best form of exercise is the one you’ll enjoy and actually do. There’s no sense in doing the most efficient workouts if you hate every minute and dread going into the gym. Any sane person would eventually give into excuses and quit at some point.
But even avid exercisers get bored with their workouts every once in a while. You know you need to change things up to keep seeing results, but how do you go about it? It’s easier than you think. Here are just a few ways to shake things up:
Bodyweight Only Workouts
Stepping away from the iron can be a good thing. Learn how to use your own bodyweight to push yourself. From squats to lunges, push-ups to inverted rows, there are dozens of options to keep you challenged and interested.
Adult Sports Leagues
Remember how much fun playing sports was when you were a kid? Join a recreational league to get your competitive juices flowing and meet new people. You’ll enjoy it so much you’ll forget you’re exercising.
Been slogging through long, monotonous cardio sessions on the treadmill or elliptical? Cut your work time in half by upping your intensity for short periods at a time. You can utilize the interval workouts on the cardio equipment or you can plan it out yourself. Simply warm-up at a moderate pace for 5 minutes and then complete 4-6 intervals of 30 seconds hard effort followed by 60-90 seconds at an easier pace. You should not be completely recovered at the end of the recovery period. Follow this with a 5-10 minute cooldown at an easy pace. Add one interval workout per week to start, adding a second after a few weeks of training. You’ll burn more fat in less time and stoke your metabolic fire for hours afterward.
Try something new by taking a class, such as yoga, Zumba, or kickboxing. The challenge of learning new moves will keep you engaged and work your muscles in new ways. You might even meet a new workout buddy.
When you’ve gotten in the habit of always heading to the gym for your workouts, it can be really invigorating to get outside on a sunny day for a walk or bike ride, especially if you ignore your watch and go by effort and sheer enjoyment. Being in nature always seems to put a smile on my face and bring down my stress levels.
Set New Exciting Goals
Most people have long-term goals as well as short-term ones, such as fat loss or muscle gain. The excitement of setting out on the path to better health and aesthetics, however strong at the outset, can wear off in time. Keep your routine fresh by switching gears and going in a new direction, one which still aids in your ultimate quest.
Do What You Want
It’s great to follow a dedicated plan in order to see results, but every so often, especially on those days when you feel unmotivated, head to the gym and do whatever exercises you feel like doing, instead of what’s on your plan. Whether you feel like trying some tough new yoga poses, hitting the bench press, or focusing on isolation exercises, just do it.
There are no hard and fast rules to fitness. It doesn’t always have to be a chore that you dread. Find ways to make it fun and interesting and you’ll look forward to your next session.
What do you do when your motivation runs low?