Getting bored of your usual workouts? Then look no further! It’s easy to re-invigorate your physical fitness by reframing what exercise looks and feels like. When thinking about keeping exercise interesting, focus on the intersection of your fitness goals with activities you enjoy. Fitness goals other than weight, such as mobility, lifting certain amounts of weight, or running a 5K are more attainable and will keep you motivated. For example, if you want to work on flexibility but hate yoga, take a stab at gymnastics! The foundation of exercise is remembering why you want to be active and how you can make it enjoyable.
Before we get into some ideas for spicing up your exercise routine, let’s talk about how to make exercise in any form more interesting! Using a fitness tracker is an easy way to challenge yourself to push limits and stay accountable. You can also exercise with friends, in a class, or as part of a recreational team to make it a social event! Not interested in working out with others. No problem! You can make your exercise more enjoyable by watching a favorite tv show, listening to a podcast, or jamming to a fun playlist! Another great way to keep your exercise interesting is to track your fitness goals and chart your progress.
Now, let’s look at some fun options to re-ignite your exercises!
Expand what counts
Boredom in exercise can lead to fatigue, and all of us here at The Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research don’t want you to give up on your physical fitness. So, one easy way to keep exercise interesting is to expand what you count as exercise. If you like to dance at night in your pajamas or play physical games at game night, you can count all that activity as exercise! Exercise doesn’t need to mean going to the gym and grinding it out. Sometimes, cleaning your house or shopping can burn as many calories as possible with more mental stimulation and variety! You can also think about the time you spend with your kids or grandkids as exercise. Plan physical activities to do together like climbing trees, water balloon fights, playing frisbee or catch, bouncing on a trampoline, going to a playground, or playing tag. All these fun activities will bring you closer to family and friends while still burning those calories!
On a nice day, your body will naturally gravitate toward physical activity. Once you’re out in the sunshine, partake in physical activities in any form. Hiking and going for a walk are easy ways to stay active and connected to the world around you. Consider doing yoga in your garden or setting up a slackline in the backyard. Go back to childhood with jump rope, skateboarding or rollerblading, hula hooping, and winter sports like skiing or sledding. You can even try geocaching or Pokémon GO to explore new places while running around town!
Try Something New
If you are still looking for a new activity, something you’ve never tried before, consider rock climbing or parkour. You can also check out local outdoors clubs for martial arts or boxing classes. Or explore the internet for online videos to learn how to do gymnastics or breakdancing! You can even play the Wii or Dance Dance Revolution for creative and intense exercise routines.
Socially Distant Support
Concern over contracting COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind, but there are ways to connect with friends and family while you work to improve your physical activity and engage your body, mind, and spirit. Just think OUTDOORS! The safest way to interact with other humans is to head outside where the risk of contracting the virus is diminished by fresh air. Meet up with a friend or family member for a friendly catch up while:
- Walking, running, and hiking
- Rollerblading and biking
- Rock climbing
- Kayaking, canoeing, diving, boating, or sailing
- Fitness classes, held outside or virtually, that allow distance
The Mayo Clinic offers great advice for safe activities you can do outside, with others, during the pandemic. The point is to be safe, enjoy yourself, and find the support you need while you try new things.
Anything you do to make physical activity more enjoyable, measurable, and accountable will help you stay active!