I have always been an active person my whole life. However, running is one of my worst nightmares (even though I force myself to do it weekly) .If I were confined to just working out in a gym, more specifically to a treadmill, I would never have the love for exercise that I do today. Growing up as a dancer, I really love working out in non-traditional ways. Ways that usually challenge my mind and body. I’ve found some great ways to spice up your workout if you are in a rut. Having a good exercise routine is a great thing, but if you’re like me, sometimes you need a change or to push past a fitness plateau.
1. Go to a new gym….a Rock Climbing Gym!
Five years ago I fell in love with rock climbing. One of the reasons I love climbing, in a gym or outdoors, is not only is it a full body workout, but it is so mental. It is almost like problem solving. It gives my mind something to focus on rather than thinking about work or how much laundry I need to put away when I get home. Going to a rock gym for the first time can be intimidating. Bring a friend, or see if they have classes or ladies night. Most gyms will let you rent the gear you need and will give you some instructions/lessons.
2. Take a New Class!
I am such a fan of fitness classes. I can turn my mind off and follow someone’s lead. It also helps challenge you, if you are in a class you are going to be more likely to push yourself. Taking a Zumba or spin class will always help reboot your bland routine. If you normally do a vinyasa flow yoga class, try a zen or stretching class. If you already have a class you frequent you can always try out a new teacher. You’ll never know if you like swing dance or not if you don’t try it!
3. Use Videos!
Websites like PopSugar and The Greatist have great free workout videos, from 30 minute yoga classes to 3 minute HITT (High Intensity Tactical Training) workouts. Sometimes after walking my dog I will do some video workouts in my living room. There are so many videos on both these sites you will always learn something new, like a new squat variation you really like.
4. Play Like a Kid!
Parks with jungle gyms are great places to workout. If you have one near your house, run there for a warm up. You can do pull ups on the monkey bars. For a good ab workout, in push up position with your feet in a swing, pull your knees into your chest, keeping your feet in the swing and extend back out to push up position. Add a push up at the end if you want an advanced move!
5. Take It Outside!
A big part of my life is the outdoors, so I try to integrate being outside into my workout routine. I found that even though I am not a huge fan of running that I LOVE trail running. It gives you more to look at and your mind has to be more aware. Running on a trail and being in nature makes me want to run two times longer than if I were on pavement. Are you meeting friends for dinner after work close by? Run or walk there instead of driving. Outdoor boot camps and yoga classes are also becoming more and more popular, as well as hiking meetups. Snowshoeing in the winter is a great way to get your heard rate going. Even just taking your dog on a 2 mile walk is great exercise!
Try adding some of these once a week or more if you feel like you are in a fitness rut. Even the most athletic people get bored. Life is too short for boring workouts!