Changing Things Up: How To Bring Life to a Dull Routine
Posted Feb 09 2014 10:03pm
Let’s face it- there are times when an exercise routine can be boring. The motivation to go beyond that last repetition, that one mile more can only take you so far. Sooner or later, your going to reach a point where your body and mind yell at you “No more! I’m bored out of my mind!”
What then? Simple- you change things up a bit. Keep yourself physically and mentally guessing. Here are a few ways to do just that.
Idea # 1: Run a New Route
If you run, chances are you have a set route. It’s a route you’ve taken so much, that honestly you really do think you could do it blindfolded. You know all the curbs, the bumps in the pavement, even where that little dog is that barks so ferociously at you as you run past. Why not alter things a bit. Instead of running your usually route, split your run into five sections, and at each section beginning make a random turn and start heading in a new direction. Just be sure to keep aware of your surroundings at all times, and use your best judgment (which you should be doing anyway– running is no time or place for zoning out! Be aware!). Then comes the fun part. Did you pay attention well enough to trace your route back?
Idea # 2: Switch Up Your Days
Let’s face it, people like routines- and if you go to the gym, chances are you’ve got a set routine of days that you “work” certain muscle groups. One day it might be your legs, the next perhaps you work your chest area. A third day you might concentrate on aerobics.
If this is the case, why not switch things around? Why not turn your ”legs day” into a killer ab workout? While not turn the three miles on the treadmill into a kick-boxing class? Not only will your muscles and body get a potentially better workout, but you’ll have the mental refreshment of doing something a little bit different.
Idea # 3: Let the Music Play
Music is a great motivator during a workout- it can help you keep rhythm, keep your workouts to an allotted time, and let’s face it, listening to it can just make you feel good. Here’s the thing though– listening to the same music all the time can lull you into a normalized routine. If you listen to music, consider randomizing your play list, or going without music for the day. You’ll be surprised at how much things can change.
Idea # 4: Switch!
When I was growing up– back when such archaic things as corded phones existed in every home we often played a game that we called “switch”. Essentially a group of us kids got together and starting doing stuff- anything really- running around, playing hopscotch, hanging from a tree branch. The thing was, if anyone called out “Switch!” we had to do just that- completely change what we were doing- instantly. It was fun- and let me tell you, it led to some very interesting play times.
Why not do a “switch game” during your next exercise routine? Granted, it takes a group of people, but randomizing your workout in such a fashion can be a great way to shake things up a bit. Just be sure to listen to your body and take into account any aches or pain that might be a problem.
Idea # 5: Total Body Workout
If you’re used to circuit training, a great way to change things up a bit is to pick a day and do a complete body workout. That’s right- exercise everything instead of focusing on certain areas of the body. Pick something that incorporates all portions of your body and mind in the work out. It could be dancing, martial arts, playing a sport, or even just playing with the kids. The trick is getting involved and connected. You’d be surprised at how great something like that can make you feel.
So here are a few of my ideas- what are some of yours?
Laura Seeber is a geologist, environmental professional, writer, and outdoor and nature enthusiast. Born just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Laura has spent the majority of her life hiking through the forest, descending into caves, climbing over boulders and up cliffs, navigating river rapids, and writing and blogging about her adventures. She currently resides in Illinois and travels country in search of the next great outdoor activity or adventure.
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