When it comes to exercise, one of the biggest challenges to good intentions is boredom. No matter how perfectly you’ve planned that special fitness routine, if your mind’s not fully engaged, progress can be tricky to maintain. But if you know what to look out for, you can head boredom off before it becomes a setback. Here are three key signs it could be time to mix up your fitness routine, plus some suggestions to keep things interesting…
Sign 1: You’re not seeing results
Our bodies adapt to exercise routines incredibly quickly (everyone’s different, but a good rule of thumb is between five and eight weeks), which means that it’s important to keep challenging yourself and trying new things if you want to see continual change. Push past that plateau by changing up the speed, distance or intensity of your workout, keeping your muscles guessing and working hard. Small changes can make a big difference: If you’re working on your cardio fitness, add some weights to your routine, or go for something like plyometrics (jump training) or freestyle – two forms of training that are sure to liven things up and keep you focussed.
Sign 2: You’ve lost interest
Exercise isn’t just a physical game; it’s a mental process too. If you feel like you’re doing the same thing each time you exercise it will be tricky staying enthusiastic even when you’re seeing improvements. With so many different exercise styles to play with, why limit yourself to just one? You’re more likely to enjoy your exercise if you spice up your fitness routine, and the variety will also keep your body strong and less prone to injury. The end result? A more impressive outcome.
Sign 3: Your goals change
Any exercise is good exercise, but certain types of workout are better suited to different goals. If you started exercising wanting to get fit for the beach and improve your cardio capacity, but are now thinking about taking on a 5 or 10k run, you might want to adapt your fitness routine accordingly. For example, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a fantastic tool for fat-burning, but if you’re preparing for a running event, some strength training to increase your lean muscle mass and make you a faster, stronger runner could also be hugely beneficial. Think about trying a few strength options, such as BODYPUMP classes.
Don’t get stuck in the old routine
- Rather than pounding the KMs on the treadmill, get outside and find yourself a new run route, or run your regular route the other way round.
- Rope in a friend so you’ve got someone to chat to – even if you are just commenting on each other’s push-up technique.
- Keep track of your progress. As a general rule, the fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate – so check that regularly. There are also plenty of apps and trackers available that can help put the interest back into exercise.
- Exercise should give you energy, not leave you tired; so if you’re really struggling with fitness fatigue, you might just be pushing yourself too hard. A successful fitness regime has plenty of downtime too. Skip the workout for a day to give your muscles time to recover and reboot