Beat Exercise Boredom

by Branda Polk on Friday, June 11, 2010

With a "ho-hum" and a heavy sigh, off to the gym you go again to do the same old workout routine. You do it because you know you should, but your heart's not in it. You continue because you have seen results, but your progress has stopped and you're at a loss for what to do next. Honestly, you are bored with your workout and thinking about quitting.

Exercise boredom is a real challenge for regular exercisers. We develop a routine that is comfortable and familiar. But just as your mind gets bored with monotonous tasks, so does your body. When you're bored with your workout, your results may slowed or even halt. Then you wonder why, even though you are working out, you don't make progress.

When exercise boredom sets in, instead of just going through the motions or quitting, mix things up with these easy, fun, and rejuvenating options.

Mix up your music

If you can predict the next song on your mp3 player, it's time for new tunes. Explore different music types and styles to add variety to your workout. Check out great CDs from Christian artists like Mercy Me, Travis Cottrell, Mandisa, and Third Day to add motivating, uplifting, inspiring music to your tune rotation.

Work out in a different place

If you normally work out on a treadmill indoors, take your walk or run outside. Natural terrain will add an unexpected challenge to your regular walk. Many websites and smartphone apps will help you find challenging routes with new scenery. If you normally work out outdoors, try some indoor fitness equipment. Challenge your pace on a treadmill or use the exercise bicycle, elliptical, or rowing machine. Variety is the spice of any workout.

Pick a new workout buddy

If you always work out with the same people, try it with someone else. Tell your regular workout buddy that you need a new challenge. Seek the company of someone who is farther along in their fitness journey to push you just a little. If you work out alone, invite someone to join you.

Set a new fitness goal

Expand your fitness goals from weight loss or body image benchmarks to endurance or strength goals. When you shift your thinking from what your body looks like to what your body can accomplish, you will approach your workout with fresh eyes. Set a goal to run a charity 5K in a certain time, increase your bench-press weight goal by 20 pounds, or jump up on a 20-inch platform. You can do anything you train for. Ask others who have already accomplished your goal for advice.

Try something new

Explore newer fitness classes like Zumba (a Latin/Salsa dancing style workout), martial arts, outdoor boot camps, Spinning (stationary cycling) or Pilates. If it's been a while since you tried a fitness class, revisit traditional options such step aerobics, kickboxing, aerobic dance, and body sculpting classes. When trying something new, give yourself time to learn the new skill. Attend a class at least three times before deciding if the workout is something you want to add to your rotation.

Get professional help

Fitness trainers are excellent sources of exercise evaluation and creative workouts. Purchase several sessions and use the trainer's advice to mix up your workout. A qualified, competent trainer will evaluate your current fitness level, notice physical imbalances or areas of weakness, and suggest a wide variety of exercises that will help you mix up and improve your workout regimen.

Wear something new

As strange as it may sound, purchasing new workout clothes that make your feel good will motivate you to exercise. If you have lost weight due to your regular exercise, you most likely need workout clothing that fits your improved body. Consider wearing a sleeveless workout shirt. Studies have shown that individuals workout at a higher intensity when they actually see their muscles working.

Never let exercise boredom be your excuse for quitting or staying the same. Empower your motivation, energy, and improvement by breaking up your habits and moving forward.

Branda Polk, B.S. Exercise Science, is a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, conference speaker and health writer in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Payment Options: LifeWay Account, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express

LifeWay Accounts are for churches, ministries, and businesses only. Organizations having a not for profit status may also enjoy savings by not having to pay sales tax on qualifying products.

Your trusted source of Christian resources since 1891

LifeWay Christian Resources, Religious Goods, Nashville, TN