I thrive on change… both mentally and physically. I get bored doing the same things over and over. That holds true for just about everything in my life, but especially in my workouts. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to keep things interesting and challenging.
1. Take it outside
This is such an easy and satisfying way to vary your workout. If you are a treadmill runner or walker, hit the track at the closest schoolyard, or take your run to the street or even the beach. Throw down your yoga mat out on your deck or carry it into the park. Do your stretching on your apartment balcony. It is a wonderful to get outdoors into the sunshine and fresh air.
2. Substitute one exercise for another that is similar
If you are strength training, try doing hammer curls instead of your regular bicep curls. Change your plank to mountain climbers, or do your plank on your elbows instead of from our shoulders. If you are running, vary your route. I like to use a web site called Map My Run to create a new routes in my neighborhood. If you normally walk, go for a hike instead. Try a Body Flow class, which is a combination of Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga, instead of your regular Flow Yoga class.
3. Add something new to your routine
Add some hill repeats to your run. Waiting for a traffic light to change? Do squats till the light turns green. If you run past a park bench, stop and do 20 push ups on it. Do walk/run intervals instead of just running. Do a couple of yoga poses after your run instead of your regular hamstring and quad stretches. Add finishers to your strength routine such as push ups or burpees. Change the timing of your lifts. If you normally lift your weights up and down, try lifting to a count of 1-2-3 and then down... or up 1-2 and down 1-2. Makes them harder, believe me! If you don’t already stretch after you workout, try it. Get your body on a different plane… put your head down or your feet up.
4. Try a new piece of gear or equipment
Get creative. Get yourself a new yoga mat or add a block to your sessions. Is anyone ever NOT inspired by new running shoes? What a bout a new workout top or pair of capris? Try a stability ball or some heavier dumb bells. What about a kettle bell? I am looking forward to getting out my new tennis racquet again soon. You might be inspired by a new Garmin or even a Fit Bit. How about counting steps with a pedometer?
5. Try a different workout altogether
Do sprint intervals instead of your usual 5 km run. Substitute a kick boxing workout for your STEP class. Run with a group instead of alone, or vice versa. Do a kettle bell workout in place of your strength training routine. Go for a hike instead of a walk. Take a Pilates class instead of yoga. Crank up the music and just dance. How about ditching the workout altogether and spending the day washing your car or your boat? Remember The Karate Kid? Wax on… wax off. Enjoy an afternoon in your garden; take the kids to the park. Go for a horseback ride or spend a day at the water park.
There is really never any reason to get bored! Even small changes are so good for our heads and our bodies.
And make it FUN!
How do you vary your routines and workouts to keep them interesting and challenging?