Finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning for your daily workout? Even the most dedicated exercisers occasionally get bored with their routines. Waning motivation, cutting workouts short and not having your old enthusiasm all are signs of a stale exercise regimen. Before you call it quits on your New Year’s resolution, try these 7 tips for staying motivated and getting back on track!
1. Change It Up
Evaluate your routine to determine what really bores you. If you’ve always walked indoors, move your workout outside for a change of scenery: hike on trails, walk through a park or around a lake. Not sure what trails are nearby? This Trailfinder can show you local hiking and walking trails with your city, state and zip code.
2. Good Company
Walking alone can be an oasis of solitude in a busy day, but maybe you need some company. Ask a friend to be your walking partner — you’re much less likely to skip a workout if someone is waiting for you! Just about every sport or activity has a club; to find one, ask around at gyms or local community centers. Keeping up with the crowd also means that you’ll be challenged to improve and to take your walking workouts to a new level. The Walking Site has links to help you find walking clubs and groups near you.
3. Challenge Yourself
Many exercisers walk simply to stay in shape, and most of the time that’s just fine. But setting a goal, such as walking a 5k or 10k race — especially one that benefits a charity or cause such as fighting heart disease — will give your daily workouts more meaning. (The Relay for Life is one example, although there are many different walks and races for a great causes!) Start by incorporating bursts of speed into your walks. After a gentle warm-up, alternate a fast pace with a slower one for recovery. This can be as simple as speed walking to the next tree, or as structured as timed intervals on a track or walking up stadium steps.
4. Add Variety
Elite triathletes pioneered the concept of cross-training, and it works for the rest of us, too. If you usually focus on one activity, such as walking, substitute another a few days a week. Consider adding 1–2 days of strength training exercises to your routine. Ideally, any exercise program should include moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, muscle strengthening exercise and flexibility. A certified personal trainer can help you if you’ve never tried this type of workout.
5. New Gadgets and Gear
Small exercise gadgets aren’t necessary, but they can make your workouts more fun and challenging. Pedometers, heart-rate monitors and MP3 players are just a few items to consider. Are you a numbers person? Activity trackers, such as the Nike FuelBand, Fitbit One, Jawbone Up and BodyMedia Fit Link offer advanced activity tracking with daily customizable goals. Find out which new training gadgets are available, and which ones appeal to you. Even buying new walking shoes or clothes can inspire you to get out and use them.
6. Identify the Trigger
When you’ve lapsed from exercise, identify where you went wrong. Was it illness, bad weather, travel or staying busy with a big project at work? Figure out what caused you to break your good habits and ways you can avoid this in the future. Then look at your schedule to see where you can fit in your daily walks. Even if you have limited time, try to fit a couple of 10–15 minute brisk walks in during the day. Remember, some exercise is far better than none, but aim get at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. See this article for creative ways to fit fitness into a busy schedule.
7. Take a Break
Sometimes you really do need time off, either mentally or physically. In that case, cut back on your usual routine or tweak it. You might even find a new twist that you enjoy more than your old standby. Once you’ve fought your first battle with boredom, you’ll know the tricks to keep your routine from becoming too routine. Trying new routes, new challenges and new activities — and learning how to throw a little variety into your tried-and-true routine — can help you avoid making creative excuses to not exercise.
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For more health information and useful tips, visit our Resources Blog on Total Home Care Supplies. For incontinence, ostomy, urological or wound supplies, visit our Total Home Care Supplies web store. Fitness information provided by the American Heart Association and the American Council on Exercise.
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