5 Fun Ways to Shake Up Your Fitness Routine
There is such thing as a fitness rut; the treadmill becomes a bore, the elliptical a dreaded enemy… the very idea of an outdoor run makes you creep deeper under the covers of your warm bed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By trying a new and exciting fitness routine, you can spice things up and make yourself enthusiastic about working out again.
Here are a few of the things I’ve tried:
Rock Climbing or Bouldering
So I’m fresh out of my first ever bouldering class and you can call me inspired. It was difficult; I’ve never worked out and felt immediate soreness in my forearms before. (Usually, I feel the sore in my biceps or triceps, but by bouldering, I discovered a muscle I realized I seldom have used before.) It’s as strategic as it is physically challenging and so every class is different, new, and demanding of both your mind and body. Definitely give it a try. (Photo source: 35 Minute Bootcamp.)
I’m not sure in this day and age that people take yoga seriously. If you’re not a practicing yogi, there can be a bit of an undeserved stigma toward it. But what I do love about yoga is that it’s so accessible. You can very easily do it at home! All you have to do is download a free app like Yoga Studio, which allows you to “download” different classes and add them to your repertoire. If you’re tight on time, you can always just participate in the practice of Shavasana, which is the meditation aspect of yoga, usually reserved for the last 10-15 minutes of the practice. To do this, you can check out my guide to free meditation apps.
As a Quinnipiac graduate, it should come as no surprise that hiking is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. Quinnipiac University is situated right across the street from Sleeping Giant Mountain, so oftentimes when the weather was nice and we were bored (or just procrastinating our studies or writing a paper), we would wear our bathing suits under some work-out clothes and hike the various trails. Usually, we picked one that led to the rock you could jump off of, into the pond below. The greatest part of hiking is that you don’t even realize how many calories you’re working off and how much good you’re doing for your body. It’s a fun activity that’s challenging, too, so it will definitely keep you occupied.
I am not a runner. It’s difficult for me to run a mile without thinking at least 30 times, “Is this almost over?” And one time, when I was deepest in training, I somehow completed a 5K. But ever since I graduated college, I gave up my running crusade. (At the gym, I’m more of an elliptical or a walking-on-an-incline type of girl.) Then I stumbled across a running club that meets at a local running store. That’s infinitely more appealing to me than running alone with an iPod blasting in my ears. While that has a time and place too, the sense of teamwork and camaraderie is intensely motivating.
Kayaking… counts as a workout? Um, hello, clearly you’ve never kayaked! Maybe you don’t notice as you’re paddling about, but once you step on solid land again, you will feel the burn in your arms. It’s a great for increasing upper arm strength and just like with hiking, the change of scenery will totally take your mind off the fact that you’re burning calories.
Those are some of the ways I’ve added something new to my fitness routine. What have you tried?