My husband eats the exact same breakfast every morning: Greek yogurt with protein powder, oats, and blueberries.
Every. Single. Morning.
It doesn’t seem to bother him, but that type of monotony would drive me crazy.
That’s not to say that I don’t find comfort in routine, but we all need a little variety once in awhile.
The same applies to our workouts.
Admittedly, my biggest exercise flaw is that I have a tendency to do too much of a good thing. For example, I really wanted to be able to stick a handstand without the wall. So, I did a handstand every day. One handstand turned in to multiple, and I kept going and going, until one day I woke up with an ache in my shoulder that started to spread down my arm.
Too much of a good thing, in this situation, equaled none of that good thing at all while I recovered.
Adding variety to your routine is good for more than just avoiding injury. Keeping our muscles guessing is important for improving our fitness, and keeping ourselves from getting bored is definitely essential to adherence to an exercise routine.
So, allow me to share some ways to spice it up:
1. Buy some new workout clothes.
2. Move your workout outside (if you typically exercise indoors).
3. Grab a buddy to join you.
4. Try a new group fitness class or gym (most places offer the first class free).
5. Jump in the car and find the closest park or forest preserve, and do your workout there.
6. Make a new playlist to listen to while you exercise.
7. Download the audio version of a book you’ve been wanting to read. Go for a long walk, and start listening!
8. Play a sport with the kids.
9. Jump on your bike and explore a nearby neighborhood (it is National Bike Month, after all).
10. Sign up for a 5k. You don’t have to be a runner; many people sign up and walk the three miles. Some races also have a one-mile course specifically for those who plan to walk.
11. Download an app that tracks your running/walking/biking route, distance, and speed. I’m a fan of Map My Run.
12. Another fun app idea: Zombies Run! Although it’s a paid app (I’m the queen of cheap when it comes to downloads on my phone), I have heard rave reviews about this one. I admit, I haven’t tried it, as I am a wuss when it comes to zombies. However, a friend of mine trained for her first charity run with this app, and she loved the entertainment factor it added that made her feel like she had to keep running or the zombies would catch her!
13. Check out Meetup.com for active groups of like-minded people in your area.
14. Buy a new piece of exercise equipment, even if you’re not sure how to use it. Stability balls, for example, are super cheap and typically come with a chart or link with directions for how to exercise with it.
15. Go shopping at an outdoor mall, and park as far away as you can from your favorite store. Your shopping trip just doubled as your workout!
16. Take your dog for a long walk.
17. Hop on the treadmill with your iPad and read some things you haven’t had time for while you walk. I don’t know about you, but my Pocket app is FULL of articles that I never seem to have the time to read. Walking on the treadmill while I read suddenly becomes relaxing reading time.
Which of these ideas will you do first? Share it in the comments below! And while you’re add it, share these ideas with a friend!