We all know the importance of daily exercise, but for those of us with busy lives, it can be difficult to find time to get in a variety of workouts. Even for the most hardcore fitness junkie, it can get monotonous repeating the same exercise routine over and over. The key is to throw in a little fun every now and then and change up your schedule, and this can include trying a new exercise or just doing it with a friend.
In fact, asking a friend, your spouse and kids, or the family dog to accompany you during your workout can make it more fun and motivate you for the more intense solo workouts later. The other side of this is that when you incorporate workouts that are a bit more low impact, you can spend more time with the family or a friend. It’s like a two-for-one deal.
Consider these options when trying to spice up your fitness routines.
Yes, Take a Walk
When the weather is nice, get outside and go for a long walk. If you have a dog, bring them along to keep you company, or take a stroll with the kids and ask them to help you find interesting rocks or leaves. As long as you’re moving and getting your heart rate up for about thirty minutes, you really can get in a good workout. If you need to bump up the intensity a bit, add some ankle weights or a weighted vest.
Get on the Trampoline
If you ever played on one as a kid, you know that a trampoline is a great way to work up a sweat. Consider getting a mini version to keep in your basement or even in the living room and throw on some good music while you bounce. It’s an excellent form of cardio that will dovetail nicely with weight training.
Go for a Skate or a Ride
Another throwback from childhood is skating. In-line skates are perfect for adults, so strap on a pair and hit up the trails at your local park.
You can also get out the bike and take a ride around the neighborhood, or bump up the intensity a bit and ride it to work on nice days. Just be sure to take an extra set of clothes in case you work up a major sweat!
If you’re trying to lose extra weight, there will likely be plateaus and days when you just don’t feel like you’re doing as well as you could. We’ve all been there, but help keep yourself motivated by taking progress pictures throughout your fitness journey and by journaling your experience. Write down how you feel before and after a workout and what your daily goals are; this can help you feel better about your choices and keep you on the right track. Plus, those before and after photos can be serious eye-openers.
Go for a Swim
Swimming is an incredible way to exercise, and because it’s low impact, your muscles get a break from the resistance training but you’re still getting in an excellent workout.
Plus, if you live near a facility with an indoor pool, it’s something you can do all year round. Consider joining a workout group or a water aerobics class at the local YMCA; you can even get your kids involved in it, too!
Make Time to Dance
Dancing works pretty much all the muscle groups, and it’s something you can do at home or, if you want to be more social, in a group setting. Zumba and hip-hop dance classes are usually available in most cities, so check out the facilities near you. Either way, dancing is a great way to add cardio to your fitness routine and still have fun.
It goes without saying that safety is the most important element to your fitness routine. Appropriate safety gear, whether it’s with cross-training or weight training, can help keep you in the game, as avoiding injury ensures that you won’t be sidelined from maintaining your fitness goals. And always remember to: maintain good form when weight training, stretch sore muscles, and incorporate rest days for your muscles to recover. Your body will thank you for it!