By Sherry Steinman
Many people who would otherwise benefit from regular exercise are turned off by it and/or quit because they find it dull. Two ways to work around this are to find your niche in terms of repeating an activity you enjoy, and, vary something about your routine often enough to keep it interesting and fun.
Whether your interests lie in walking, running, dancing, aerobics, bicycling, tennis (or pickle-ball – have you tried it?) weight training, or team sports, the trick to keeping it up is to keep it from getting boring.
How to do that? The options are as many as there are individuals, but here are a few to consider:
- If you are doing a workout activity that has become very boring for you and you are doing it only because you know it is good for you, it’s time for a change. Do not continue to make it a grind! Change something – the place, the time of day, the music you use, or maybe you’re ready for an entirely different activity.For instance, more than thirty years ago when I began teaching aerobics, our classes didn’t use any music. Believe it or not, that was not unusual at the time! Over the years, music has become one of the most motivating and fun parts of the workout, and adds an extra fun dimension to exercise. Plus, it keeps your mind off how hard you are working.
- If you enjoy walking, but are ready for something a little more challenging, you may be ready to add free weights (small hand-held barbells or wrist weights) to your walk. Simply adding 1-lb. weights to your routine will increase the work your heart is doing – the cardio effect. Or, you might change your walking pattern from mall-walking in the morning to talking a more uphill or hilly walk on the bike paths. Changes can be done every other workout at the outset to see how you like them.
- If you are disciplined enough to do strength and cardio-vascular exercise on machines at home there may come a time where you are feeling stale about your workout plan. Short of buying different equipment – or, heaven forbid, quitting! – change the environment. If it’s in the basement and you have done nothing to your basement in years, maybe paint the room a cheerful color … add a plant or two … and some kind of music accompaniment whether or not it’s through earbuds or wall speakers. It should be rousing music that you like. And, beware! You may get into a rut with your fitness activity without even knowing it. One day it will sneak up on you, and you will decide to go eat a big stack of pancakes for breakfast and read the newspaper for your morning activity instead. Or you may drive past the YMCA after work and go to the Dairy Isle across the street instead! STOP! Don’t throw all your hard work away just because you’re momentarily bored. Mix in something new and keep it up! Preferably forever. –October 2017
If you are doing a workout activity that has become very boring for you and you are doing it only because you know it is good for you, it’s time for a change.
Do not continue to make it a grind!