Are you doing the same exercise routine day in and day out? Most likely you’re bored and not getting the results you hoped for. Guess what? Your muscles are bored too- they’ve already adapted to the activity and are at ho hum status quo. Chances are you’ve hit a plateau and your progress has halted.
You have to change it up to get the results you want and to stay committed. The great thing about triathlon is cross training is built in (swim, bike, run), but even triathletes can get in a rut. The solution? Change it up. If you’re not feeling it, forcing yourself into a prescribed workout is not always the answer and can lead to burnout. Substituting a fun activity that you don’t do often is one way to combat exercise ennui.
This weekend, instead of another bike ride, I laced up my roller blades (remember those things?) and rolled out the door. It was quite refreshing and is a great, low impact leg workout that targets different muscles than biking or running.
10 Tips to change it up for better results
- Change your route regularly. If you run / bike on roads, hit the trails. At the beach? Run barefoot in the thick sand.
- Boost your intensity / speed. Add interval training, track workouts or hills.
- Increase your load in the gym. Add weight so that you can just barely do 3 sets of 8 until you’re able to do 3 sets of 12, then up it again. (And no, ladies, you won’t get too big – that takes a ton more work.)
- Alternate exercises. Doing the exact same routine every day may make it easy to go through the motions, but unfortunately that’s all your muscles will be doing too. And you’ll be sacrificing results and possibly inviting injury. Switch out bench presses for chest flys with dumbells, etc..
- Include strength & core training. It will enhance everything you do and help protect you from injury. Not to mention the vanity dividends.
- Get outside. A good dose of Vitamin D, fresh air and scenery will do wonders for your energy level and your spirit.
- Do yoga. Your body will thank you.
- Try something entirely different – SUP, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, wake boarding, rollerblading, soccer, softball, tennis, limitless options.
- Make exercise time your fun time. What physical activity makes you smile? Starts with S? I meant skipping rope, but yes, of course the other too!
- Cultivate a handful of activity partners so you always have a playmate for different activities.
What do you do to roll out if your exercise ruts?
Being fit and healthy for life is to a large extent about exercising (pun intended) an active lifestyle. Having a healthy mindset to a large degree is also about being physical, being outdoors and being open to new experiences, people, ideas and places.
So my advice, plan your next vacation and make it count. It’s an investment in your health and well being that will pay dividends in both the short and long run. I know you’re so worn out from your daily grind that you might think you just want to sink into a hammock with a coconut drink and not move for 7 days, but hear me out. You can have your coconut drink and hammock time, but if you vaca my way, I guarantee you’ll enjoy them more.
Whether it’s a staycation, a camping trip, or an exotic locale – find your activity bliss (limitless options) – whatever makes you smile while you sweat just a little or a lot.
7 tips to “activate” your next getaway
- Say “yes” to opportunity. If an invitation to do something active and outside of your realm lands in your lap, take it. Adjust your schedule, do what you need to do, but as they say “Just do it.” It’s those serendipitous surprises in life that seem to yield the biggest rewards.
- Try an activity that’s outside of your comfort zone. (On a recent vaca, I immersed myself in yoga and meditation and it yielded some incredible results, as well as a new respect for both activities. I’m a convert – I’ll tell you why in an upcoming post .)
- Go somewhere new. Even if it’s just that park around the corner that you’ve never explored, go check it out.
- Get out of the country if you can. The dollar is strong right now so it’s probably less expensive than you think and it’s such an enriching experience.
- Book a trek, bike / multi-sport, dive, kayak, [fill in the blank] adventure vacation. There are so many great active adventure tour operators out there and they cater to people of all levels. No planning, just tons of active fun with like-minded people. (My adventures have included a 4 day trek to Machu Pichuu, and more recently, an amazing 3 day multi-sport and a 3 day mt. bike adventure in Northern Thailand. (See my pics,videos and posts on my adventure travel site: onthelooselive.com.)
- Do what you’ve always wanted to do. Take that tennis, golfing, dancing, karate, fly fishing, or rock climbing class that you’ve always wanted to. There’s no time like the present so stop putting the good stuff off. Try something new or get back to an old, but not forgotten pastime. With tons of inexpensive and free classes, your local community colleges and yes, even senior centers are great resources.
- Check out local activity meetups at your destination. You’ll meet new peeps and get the local scoop on bike routes, hiking, running trails,etc..
The options are limitless! Tell me, where will you go next and what will you do?
In his book Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, Tom Corley compares the habits of the rich (those with incomes of 160k + a year with 3.2 million in assets) vs. the poor (those with an income of less than 30k and assets of less than 5k).
This would have been great as my debut blog, but the 6 year study comparing the results of runners and walkers just came out. Turns out, runners had greater weight loss than walkers, especially overweight women. Both walkers and runners lost weight, but the weight loss was more significant in the runners. In fact, the same amount of exercise produced 90% more weight loss running vs. walking for those with a BMI greater than 28. High intensity workouts also reduced the risks for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and coronary heart disease (CHD).
Contrary to what many may think, when it comes to nutrition, I have been more of a “do as I say, not as I eat” person. With my vigorous activity / exercise regimen, I’ve been able to “get away” with it. But what exactly have I gotten away with by not properly fueling and hydrating my body? The reality is I’ve sabotaged my race performances and suffered some health consequences.
The appearance of physical fitness does not equate with health.