The Spice of Life

Yes, I’m talking about variety.

Here are some ways to mix up your fitness routine so it doesn’t get dry and boring.

1. If you run, try taking a different route. The same is true if you walk.

2. If you walk at an indoor arena where the scenery is always the same, try taking hand weights and doing some upper body exercises at the same time. It’s amazing how much of a workout you can get with three- or five-pound weights…even twos.

3. If you always hop on the treadmill at the gym, why not get adventurous? Try the rowing machine or the elliptical.

4. If you’ve been using the same exercise DVD “forever,” it’s time to get a new one. Your body – and your mind – will thank you.

5. If you love to dance, but aren’t very good at it, don’t let that stop you from doing a dance workout at home where no-one can see you. When you’re adventurous enough, attend a cardio dance class at a local gym. I’ve observed – and even participated in – some of these classes. Trust me, not everyone is a professional dance.

6. Don’t just take your kids to their sporting events. Try joining a recreational league yourself. Who knows? You might just make some new friends, have fun, and get fit while you’re at it.

7. When investing in a workout book, select one that has easy to follow directions, hopefully lots of how-to pictures, and sample routines included. Be realistic. Does it look like something you think you could stick with? Does it include exercises and routines for beginners through advanced exercisers?

8. If you’ve been working out on your own, kudos. However, it’s also a good idea to work out with an exercise buddy at least one to two times per week. If you’re anything like me, the time goes much faster when you’re not alone. Plus, it makes doing those less enjoyable routines much more fun.

9. If you go to the gym but always use the same equipment and/or always attend the same class, try mixing it up. You just might find something you enjoy. If you’ve plateaued, it might be just what you need to start making progress again.

10. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but have been putting off, now just might be the right time to give it a shot.

11. If you work out in the evening, try getting up earlier and seeing if starting your day with exercise gives you more energy and motivation…and vice versa.

12. If you’re heading out on vacation, plan to incorporate physical activity. Check out the weight room. Go for walks. Golf. Sail. Swim.

Of course it’s important to check with your doctor before starting or changing up an exercise routine.

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