Common sense tells us that if something is boring, we’re not likely to continue doing it. Think about your favorite class in high school. Chances are, that class was your favorite because the teacher made the content fun and enjoyable. The same is true in the world of exercise. If your workout is such a drag that all you can do is look at the clock to see when it will be over, chances are you’re not going to stick to it for very long. Consider these suggestions for a workout that’s a blast and that blasts lots of calories, too:
-Ever noticed that there’s more to the treadmill control panel than just a speed control and a timer? Beat workout boredom by varying the incline and speed of your workout and by adding intervals of strength training. You’ll burn more calories, and your strength intervals will be all-the-more effective, too. If you’re a member at a gym and all the treadmill buttons make you nervous, ask an associate to give you a treadmill orientation. Fitness Magazine has a great seven-day plan for spicing up your treadmill routine.
Breaking your 30-, 40-, or 45-minute treadmill workout into small chunks or sections, as suggested in this very applicable link, will give you mini-goals to reach along the way, and you’ll probably take fewer glances at the clock. Who knows – you might even increase the length of your workout because you’ll be having so much fun!
-If you enjoy exercising outside, buddy up rather than go solo. The cliché is true – time really does go by faster when you’re having fun. Walkers can find a local pack at ava.org, runners at rrca.org, and swimmers at clubswim.com. One of my favorite spots is Katy Trail, which is walker-, runner-, and biker-friendly. It’s also jogging stroller and pet friendly, if you have little ones. With multiple entry points, concrete and gravel trails, and closely-patrolled areas, you can’t beat it.
-If you’re tired of your weight lifting routine, try spicing it up by no longer counting reps. Instead, lift until you can’t lift one rep further without losing your good form. Or, try Fuentes’ Freeze method: Pause at several points during each rep to increase its’ effectiveness. For example, if you’re doing bicep curls, pause for one count when you’re one-quarter of the way up, again at the halfway point, and one more time when you’re three-quarters of the way up. Lower slowly. If you listen to music while you lift, consider downloading music at a steady 122-128 BPM (beats per minute).
There are many sites online to find workout music. iTunes and Dynamix Music are both great sources. With music in this range of beats per minute, you can lift to the music, which could make all the difference in your workout enjoyment.
So, take your routine from drab to fab and have a blast!