Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 Ways to Shake Up Your Workout

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.

5 Ways to Shake Up Your Workout

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. 

March 31 TC run 001

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.

Feb 24 TC gear 003

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.

Oct 30 exercise 005


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?

May 1 Core Ball 001 (2)

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.

April 22 Earth Day 003

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?


  1. I am with you- I just have to change it up slightly to prevent getting bored. I like a combo of gym time, outside running and at-home workouts!

  2. Ha! I need help in this department! I always do the same thing because I just wake up in the AM and go to the gym on autopilot! I do go to pilates every week, but I need to do it far more than I currently do! My schedule just doesn't allow that much time for me to squeeze in more! :(

  3. Maybe I should be embarrassed to admit it, but I never get bored with running. Other things, however, I can use the help, especially with strength training. I love your first tip--being outside always makes it better in my mind!

  4. Love all these suggestions! I love trying new gear and changing the move:) The other day I was working triceps and instead of doing 3 sets of the same move I did 3 different moves for the same muscle. Cuts down on boredom for sure! Getting outside always helps too:)

  5. Yes, I love that the weather has warmed up now and that I can do more outdoor activities. I admit I get pretty lazy indoors but can find all different ways to mix things up when I get outside. Looks like you are finding lots of ways to keep your workouts fun!

  6. Great tips, new gear is a favorite, I try not to do it too often but I think as bloggers as see a lot of fun new stuff all the time :) I love when my husband works out with me too, really ups the level of the workout as we are both a little competitive ;)

  7. I mix it up in my own way & love it. People say weight lifting is boring but to me there are so many ways to change it. :)


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