Stuck in a Workout Rut? Try These 4 Tips
By Melody Foster
Are you getting bored with your workout routine? Getting stuck in an exercise rut can quickly drain your motivation to stay active. If your workout routine is boring you to tears, something needs to change. Here are four tips to help you break out of your rut and enjoy working out a little bit more.
Ditch the cardio machines — The treadmill, elliptical and indoor bikes all have their place and can certainly help you reach your weight loss goals, but the reality is, they aren’t the best option. Research shows that a shorter workout with more variety and intensity is more beneficial than spending an hour running or walking on the treadmill. (Not to mention, the scenery isn’t very inspiring.) Get off the machine and do a 15- or 20-minute bodyweight circuit (think squats, lunges, burpees, wall sits, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc.)
Go for time, not reps — If you’re just counting reps, and aren’t paying attention to the time, you won’t get as much burn as you would if you added a time component to your workout. Tabata workouts combine reps and time. For example, set the timer for 20 seconds and see how many reps you can do (push-ups, squats, lunges, weights, etc.) Take a 10-second break, and go at it again. Complete four sets of 20 seconds on/10 seconds off. Keep track of the reps you complete during each 20-second set. Next time, try to do more reps in the same amount of time.
Join a workout group — It’s a given: most of us do better when we workout with other people. When you join a workout group, whether it’s an organized boot camp-style workout, or simply a small group of friends, you get motivation, encouragement, and accountability from the others in your group. Having someone else working out next to you will motivate you to challenge yourself even more.
Try something new — One of the best ways to get out of a workout rut is to try something new. Step out of your box and try a workout you’ve never done before. Join a recreational sports team, hop on a cycle and join a spin class at your gym, try kayaking. There really are endless choices when it comes to exercise, and no requirement saying the only way to get a good workout is to go to the gym. Any type of physical activity that gets your heart rate up and challenges your body is an excellent choice.
The American Heart Association recommends adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week. That’s just 30 minutes, five days a week. If you need to, break your workouts into shorter segments. Ten minutes here, 15 minutes there adds up, helping you manage your weight and keep your ticker strong and healthy.
About the Author
Melody Foster is a Dallas-based freelance writer and contributing author to the Nicholson Clinic blog. Melody researches and creates content for clients in industries ranging from health care, fitness and nutrition to interior decorating, legal and social good.