By Instructor Kayley Stevens
Staying in shape requires persistence, dedication and routine. AH YES, routine. We’ve all done it--made our grocery lists for the week, meal prepped, joined a gym, and signed up for a class membership somewhere. All of these actions are really great steps towards an active and healthy permanent lifestyle. But how do we remain excited and interested in our health if our routine starts to get dull?
Before I became a fitness professional, I was a ‘routine’ gal who wandered aimlessly between all sorts of exercise obsessions.
I would stumble upon a favorite workout, a favorite studio, or a favorite method. I would then do that particular workout nonstop, for months. So much so, that my body grew too accustomed to it. My workouts started to become less exciting andless challenging. Or, in extreme cases, I would over do it, resulting in injuries.
You name it, I tried it. I had a yoga phase, a short distance running phase, a long distance running phase, a HIIT phase, a heavy lifting phase, a low weight strength training phase, a no workout phase, a TRX phase, a ballet phase (I’m a dancer), an indoor cycling phase and a Barre phase.
I believe anyone who practices an active lifestyle usually prefers 1 or 2 of these activities listed above, and they stick primarily to them. If you speak to a runner, they lean towards arranging their weeks around mileage and may squeeze in a yoga session or weight session or two. If you speak to a dancer, they may focus on pilates, yoga, barre, or cycling on the side. Or if you speak to a heavy lifter, I guarantee they schedule their week around sections of the body and perhaps some cardio on a lighter day. None of these methods prove problematic, but they do result in occasional workout boredom. By going through my workout obsession phases, I truly got burnt out from doing too much of the same thing.
So, here are my tips on how to avoid exercise boredom and lead a MORE EXCITING WORKOUT LIFE.
1.) If you’re not a Group Fitness Person: TRY incorporating more variety in your routine than just 1 or 2 things per week.
If you run and lift every week, switch it up, add some cycling and Pilates. If you love barre, yoga, and pilates, add some running or lifting into your routine. If you love to lift heavy and are a cross fit junkie, go work on your balance and coordination in yoga and barre. If you are a cardio cycle-a-holic, try some HIIT or begin some heavy lifting classes or sessions. You’ll feel a wave of challenge ahead by getting into something that’s out of your comfort zone and it will give you a new goal! And you won’t get burnt out!
2.) DON’T Classify yourself under just one category of training.
You don’t have to be a fitness professional to be a well-rounded athlete. DO EVERYTHING. Don’t limit yourself to just one type of fitness. Try it all. Your body is capable of far more than you can imagine, so why not do it justice and practice all sorts of fitness to maintain balance? By doing so, your exercise life becomes far more exciting and interesting, because there is so much more to try and accomplish.
3.) Don’t put too much pressure on yourself—it takes the fun away.
The second that exercise feels like an OBLIGATION, it becomes boring and annoying. Most magazines and health advisors suggest 3-5 days of moderate to intense activity a week. However, not everyone can make that happen with his or her schedules, and our bodies aren’t always up for it. If all you have is 20 minutes and you want to get a quick “feel good” workout in, google some youtube videos, or come up with some of your favorite floor/body weight exercises. THAT’s PLENTY. Take the pressure off of yourself. Working out should make us feel better, not worse.
As a trainer and group fitness instructor, I’ve finally found the perfect way of looking at exercise. I enjoy it, because I never set limits to my routine. I don’t have a “schedule” or preference when it comes to working out anymore. My week can range from dance class to heavy lifting to boxing to yoga. Another week might be dance cardio, running, barre, cross fit, and TRX. I never say no to a new challenge.