Mix it up: If you’re like most people, you like routines (manicures on Mondays, shopping on Sundays). Unfortunately, strict routines shouldn’t apply to fitness. Doing the same exercises day in and day out can bore both your muscles and your mind. In my experience, when many people get bored with workouts, they stop. Try varying your exercise routine on a regular basis. Aim for a combo of cardio exercises, strength training, and classes to stay interested.
Have fun: No matter how many strategies you use, it’ll be super-hard to stick with a program and become fit and healthy if you aren’t having any fun doing it. If you don’t enjoy “working out,” playing sports is a great way to bring back the good ‘ole days of gym class and practice. Besides, combining sports and socializing is fun! Try your skills at hip-hop dancing, Flamenco, kickboxing, and self-defense.
Jam: Music is a great way to make it over that last hill on the trail or those last 30 sumos at the barre. We can get in a music rut just as easily as we get ourselves into a workout rut. Dig yourself out by changing up your exercise play-lists often.
Team Spirit: Ever look back and say to yourself, “Gosh, I was so fit in high school?” It’s that team factor, not just a younger, faster metabolism. Running track, staying active with friends—fitness was part of your lifestyle. If you have been working out by yourself for a long time, experiencing group fitness can refresh your health and exercise outlook. Group exercise classes and running or biking clubs build a sense of community, make you accountable, and can make you look forward to working out. Online blogs and facebook (like Be Well here, as well as my personal blog!), can also provide motivation and accountability when the going gets tough and you’re not so motivated.
Change of scenery: Take your workout outside. The white walls of wherever you workout can become oh-so-inspiration-less.
Reward yourself: Celebrate your small victories with healthy, active treats. Instead of going out for dinner, go out dancing. Instead of buying a new TV, buy a new elliptical. Have you recently lost a size? Buy a new pair of jeans. My rewards really keep me going.
Phone a friend: A workout buddy can save the day. Just make sure you pick one that shares similar goals, rather than one who will let you cut corners. You want to end up running to the Rodin Museum rather than Rita’s!