Workout Advice for
Battling BoredomProvided by the
American Council on Exercise
Are you finding it difficult to get
out of bed in the morning for your daily walk and making up excuses to skip the
gym on the way home? Even the most dedicated exercisers occasionally get bored
with their routine. Waning motivation, cutting workouts short and not having
your old enthusiasm all are signs of a stale exercise regimen.
First, evaluate your current routine to determine what
really bores you. A new variation on your favorite activity -- such as
cardio-funk or kickboxing instead of step aerobics, or hoisting free weights
instead of working on machines -- may be enough to reinvigorate a stale
If you've always worked out indoors, logging miles on a
treadmill, stairclimber or stationary bike, move your workout outside for a
welcome change of scenery. Run, hike or bike on trails; swim in a lake or
When tweaking your routine isn't
enough, make bigger changes. Take up an entirely new activity - especially
something you never thought you'd do. If you've always stuck to solitary
pursuits, sign up for a team sport, such as volleyball, basketball or even
doubles tennis. Or tackle something you've always shied away from - indulge
your thirst for adventure with a rock- climbing class (start on an indoor wall,
then move to the real thing as your skills improve).
Working out alone often is an oasis of solitude in a busy day,
but maybe you need some company. Exercise companions add a social element to
any routine. Ask a friend to be your workout partner -- you won't skip a
workout if someone is waiting for you.
Just about every sport or
activity has a club; to find one, ask around at gyms or local community
centers. Keeping up with the crowd also means you'll be challenged to improve
your skills. Ask about organized workouts and fun runs offered by local track
clubs, as well as group rides hosted by cycling clubs.
Many exercisers work out simply to stay in shape, and most of
the time that's just fine. But setting a goal, such as finishing a 10K race or
completing a rough-water swim, will give your daily workouts more meaning.
Start by incorporating bursts of speed into your workouts. After a gentle
warm-up, alternate a fast pace with a slower one for recovery. This can be as
simple as sprinting to the next tree, or as structured as running intervals on
a track or sprinting laps in the pool.
triathletes pioneered the cross-training concept, and it works for the rest of
us, too. If you usually focus on one activity, substitute another a few days a
week. Ideally, any exercise program includes elements of cardiovascular
exercise, weight training and flexibility.
exercise gadgets aren't necessary, but they can make your workouts more fun and
challenging. Heart-rate monitors, aquatic toys and safety equipment are just a
few items to consider. Find out which new training gadgets are available for
your favorite activity.
Take a Break:
Sometimes you really
do need time off. In that case, cut back on your usual routine, and substitute
other activities. You might even find one that you enjoy more than your old
Once you've fought your first battle with boredom, you'll
know the tricks to keep exercise from becoming too routine. Trying new sports,
new classes and new activities - and learning how to throw a little variety
into old favorites - an help you overcome the nagging inclination to devise
those creative excuses for not working out.
This article was provided by ACE, the
American Council on Exercise. Please visit their site at