If you’ve been exercising for more than a month, it is time to start thinking about how you are going to make this habit stick for the long term. Doing the same exercises the same way, day in and day out, is better than nothing. However, if you are going to invest the time and energy, wouldn’t you like to get the most out of your workout? Switching up your routine and finding ways to stay motivated will help you burn the most calories, build more strength, and keep you from getting bored and giving up. Here are a few tips to keep things fresh.
1. Make new workout goals for yourself every so often. Once a month, or quarterly, is a good time to check in with your workouts and change it up. This could be a weight loss goal, a running time goal, or even a strength goal (i.e. perform 10 “real” pushups at the end of 30 days) Make it challenging but appropriate for your fitness level. If you need help, talk to a personal trainer and come up with a good goal together.
2. Keep a journal of your workouts. This will help you feel a sense of accomplishment when each day is checked off, as well as tell you where changes or improvements can be made.
3. Make sure your routine includes strength training. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. Adding muscle to your body is the only way to firm and tone.
4. Try getting outside at least 1-2 days per week. The fresh air does wonders for your mind and its always good to get a change of scenery from the gym. Walking, running, biking, yoga, etc. are great exercises that can be done any time of the year.
5. Add intervals to your workouts. This will bring your heart rate up and down, burning fat all day long, even after you are finished working out.
6. Try a new fitness class like Zumba, TRX, Boot Camp, or Body Pump. You might be surprised at how much fun you have and it will challenge your body in new ways.
7. If you aren’t already doing circuit training, you should be. You can vary your workouts by doing 2-3 rounds of 8-10 exercises with no rest between, or add in supersets of 2-3 different exercises in a circuit. There are unlimited combinations of exercises you can do to change your routine.
8. Alternate your workouts between lower weight, high repitition days, and heavier weight, lower repittion days. This is another way to keep your muscles guessing and continue to challenge them.
9. Leave a set of dumbbells or bands and an exercise ball near your TV. While you’re watching your favorite show do some crunches, curls, squats etc. to get in an extra workout session during the week.
10. Finally, buy yourself a new workout outfit or tennis shoes. It will be more fun to exercise when you know you look your best.