You may like your regular workout, but if you’ve been following the same patterns for too long, it’s likely the benefits you’re receiving from all of your efforts have significantly decreased.
Not only has your body adjusted to the routine, but it’s likely you’ve also checked out mentally as well, meaning you’re not giving that workout as much “oomph” as you used to. That’s why spring cleaning isn’t just for your closets — it’s a great idea for your fitness routine, too. By throwing out the old and embracing the new, you’ll kick-start your metabolism and renew your fitness zest. Here are a few excellent strategies for doing just that.
1. When it’s nice, get outside
Spring and summer are seasons dominated by unique fitness events, many of which happen in the great outdoors. For example, now’s the perfect time if you’ve been wanting to participate in a color run. And if you’d like to substitute a day at the gym with a workout outside, try some of these top calorie-burning activities.
2. Add some new strength training into the mix
Many people fall into one of two camps: those who love to lift weights and those who prefer spending hours on the cardio machines.
Whichever camp you fall into, now might be the time to dip your toes into the other arena. If you’re new to weight training, start simply with squats, planks, and dumbbell rows before graduating to heavier weights and more complex routines. If you’re more of a lifter, start with 15 minutes on the elliptical and gradually increase your duration until you’re really pushing it every time. By trading time in one discipline for time in the other, you’ll not only shake things up but you’ll also complete a more rounded routine.
3. Change your intervals
While spring cleaning your workout routine can mean trying out entirely new activities, you don’t have to throw everything you love out the door. Instead, give a few new intervals a try. Switch more rapidly between cardio equipment, or simply choose a new course on your machine– perhaps the “Endurance” option rather than the “Hills,” or vice versa.
4. Switch up the duration
Likewise, it can also be effective to play around with how often and for how long you’re working out. One week, go for two to three long workouts. The next, opt for short, intense sessions. The next, do something in-between. Experimenting in this way will keep your workouts from getting too predictable, and will constantly challenge your body in new ways.
5. Try a different time
Always exercise in the afternoon? Get up with the early birds a few times this week and be amazed at all that you can get done before your first cup of coffee.
Alternatively, for morning workout aficionados, see for yourself how effective a post-work session at the gym can be for releasing all of that stress that’s built up over the day. Getting creative with your schedule will keep your workout out of the humdrum zone.
6. Mix it up with intramural sports
An intramural sport or activity will force your muscles to move in new and interesting ways, distract you with mental challenges, and even help you make a few new friends. From the softball team at work to that new swing dancing league, embrace the challenge of an entirely novel activity.
7. Give a few new classes a whirl
Likewise, most good gyms offer classes throughout the year, with new schedules released for each season. If you’ve always wanted to try that yoga or Zumba class, now might be the time. Fitness instructors are good at what they do, and you’ll find working out with friends motivating. What have you got to lose?
8. Set a challenge with a race
You may enjoy running, swimming or biking on your own, but if your interest is waning, why not put all of that training to good use and enter a race? You’ll uncover a new wealth of motivation when you know your morning jog will help you through that 10K or half marathon, and you’ll be extra likely to jump into your cold local pool for a training session when you know it’s for a charity triathlon.
9. Commit to a friend
If you’ve always been a lone wolf, spring is the perfect time to become a more social animal.
A workout buddy is a quick way to inject enthusiasm and accountability into your daily routine, while a group training class will keep that heart pumping via new and interesting means. Just try not to get a little sweat on when you’re surrounded by so many peppy and engaged classmates.
10. Hire a personal trainer
When you’ve hit a rut, a fitness expert is really the best way to roll-out a workout makeover.
Not only will they have a much better idea of what’s possible, but they’ll also help you build variety into your workout so you shouldn’t need to give it an overhaul for quite some time. Plus, it’s harder to make last minute cancellations when you know you’ve got someone you’re paying waiting for you.
How will you freshen up your stale workout? Let us know in the comments below.