Perhaps you were gung-ho when you started your gym membership, but now you’re feeling a little stale. As you become bored with exercising, you start slacking off and skipping sessions. To get back on track, make things more interesting.
Refresh your motivation by changing the way you work out. Experimenting with new places and methods is a foolproof formula for making fitness more fun.
- Try different activities. The most obvious answer is to mix up your routine. Swim laps or take a spin class instead of going for your usual run. Trade in your
free weights for kettlebells or ask an instructor how to use an unfamiliar machine.
- Train in intervals. You may have heard about the benefits of high intensity interval training where you alternate between gentle and more vigorous movements. See what happens when you do your usual activities at a different pace.
- Find a buddy. Invite someone to join you. Working out with a friend gives you a chance to socialize and encourage each other.
- Update your playlist. Have you been listening to the same songs for months? A different soundtrack could be stimulating.
- Set new goals. Give yourself something to aim for each session by gradually increasing speed, weight, or intensity. Focus on your purpose for working out, whether it’s managing a health condition or feeling more comfortable in a bathing suit.
- Compete for prizes. Turn your workouts into a game. Make a friendly bet with friends or try to beat your own past performance. The reward could be your own satisfaction or something more tangible like new running shoes.
- Use technology. Track your progress with wearable devices or a fitness app. Many popular apps are free, or you can ask your friends for recommendations.
- Distract yourself. Maybe you prefer to take your mind off your efforts. Listen to podcasts or watch a movie while you ride a stationary bike. Do floor exercises as you watch TV.
- Take breaks. Insufficient rest time is a common reason for burnout. You’ll feel more enthusiastic and reduce your risk of injury if you take days off regularly.
- Go outside. Connecting with nature is invigorating. Sign up for a Tai Chi class in the park or go kayaking. Schedule some time for skiing or scuba diving during your next vacation.
- Sample free sessions. Many gyms and fitness studios offer special deals like free introductory classes or weekday passes. Broaden your options by visiting a few facilities. You may discover that you love archery or acrobatics.
- Browse pop ups. Competition in the fitness industry has created many unconventional places to work out these days. Search local listings and social media to find yoga classes in a hotel ballroom or boot camps at an arts center.
- Work out at work. If you spend long hours on the job, it may be convenient to exercise at the office. If your company doesn’t have a fitness center, ask about having group classes in a conference room or parking lot. You can also do simple
stretches and other movements in your own office.
- Build a home gym. If you enjoy spending time at home, create a space for working out. It can be as elaborate as a whole room full of machines or as simple as a mat and jump rope in one corner.
You’re more likely to exercise regularly if you enjoy your workouts. When you hit a lull, turn it into an opportunity to challenge your body and mind in new ways. You’ll soon find yourself looking forward to your next session.