Starting an exercise regimen takes commitment, but sticking with it is the real challenge. Boredom is often cited as the primary reason for exercise dropout. But there are several strategies you can employ to avoid defeat.
Start with incorporating variety into your workouts. Being on the same piece of cardiovascular equipment several days a week will get boring – even if you’re watching TV or jamming to Journey. The same holds true for outdoor exercising. If you walk or jog the same route each time your body and your mind will get bored. At the gym, regularly change the equipment you use and when walking or running outdoors, vary your routes for new, more interesting challenges.
Changing your workout routine is good for the mind and great for your body. Doing the same routine allows your body to adapt, which will diminish your results. Doing the same exercise repeatedly is analogous to sending your child to first grade year after year – he won’t improve academically. Your body won’t make any appreciable gains by doing the same exercise routine month in and month out. By keeping your body guessing as to what it will be doing next, you’ll have better results and will stay motivated.
Another great way to avoid boredom is to exercise with one or more friends. When several people exercise together there is more creativity infused into the workouts. Each person has a favorite type of exercise, which almost guarantees that you’ll be doing things you wouldn’t do working out alone. Having exercise buddies also helps to keep the conversation fresh, which will help the time spent exercising pass by faster.
Finally, create a fitness participation goal. In every community, there are road races that can be walked or jogged, multi-sport challenges called “mini-triathlon’s” and the newest rage – obstacle course races called “Tough Mudder” and “Total Warrior”. Some of these events are tied to charity fundraisers, which add an additional incentive to participate. No matter what the event or difficulty, setting a goal to enter a race, especially with friends will give you something to work towards.
Everybody knows we “should” exercise an average of 30 minutes each day, 5 days per week. Boredom is often the culprit in keeping us from achieving and maintaining this health goal. By incorporating some of these simple strategies you’ll stay on track, keep things interesting and feel good knowing you’re keeping yourself healthy.
Bernie Caplan is a life-long health & fitness fanatic and a 30 year fitness-industry veteran. He currently owns and operates Spunk Fitness, a chain of health clubs. He is married with three children, and a resident of Monkton, Maryland.
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- Avoid Workout Boredom with Variety and Companionship - August 7, 2014