Spring is in the air and that means renewed commitments to health and fitness are budding. Just as our homes need a good spring cleaning, so too, do our workout routines. Switching things around is good for both your body and soul. Your body is highly adaptable and needs to be challenged constantly. Our mind is unacceptable to the same ruts as our muscles and it needs to be woken up from the dreary state of winter hibernation. Feed the mind so you can train the body and try these 5 fresh ideas to grow your workout routine.
1. Fresh Routine
Try something new! Not only will it keep you from boredom but it is a more effective way of training our body. If you workout alone, try a group. If you work one muscle group a day, try a total body circuit. If you always do a 2 hour cardio session, challenge your paradigm as well as your body with a super fat-burning short-duration Tabata (tah-bot-ah) protocol. It's 20 seconds of 100% maximum effort, high-intensity cardio followed by only 10 seconds of rest. Repeat these intervals without pause a total of 8 times. Yes, it's only 4 minutes total, but just try it and you'll be happy when it's done! This can also be applied to a resistance workout counting the reps each time. Just be sure to go with lighter weights for maximum speed.
2. Fresh Tunes
Just like we need to change up our workout routine, we should also change up our music selection. Your brain will get bored with the same old songs and that negative energy will be transferred to your workout. Studies show that people who listen to music when they exercise actually burn more calories and have greater results than those who do not listen to music. So it's time to add a few new songs to your playlist. Pick something with a positive message, a fast beat, and crank it up!
3. Fresh New Duds
New clothes always boost your confidence and make you feel good. So what makes us think that we'll be pumped up and ready to workout when we're wearing grubby holey unfitted sweats and a t-shirt 5 sizes too big with cereal stains down the front? A new pair of running shoes or a new workout outfit will not only make you feel great, it will make you eager to get out and exercise as well. Remember to always pick shoes and clothing that are ultra comfortable and with a breathable sweat-wicking fabric.
4. Fresh Environment
Working out in the same place every day is not much more fun than going to the same office for work every day. If you workout indoors, take it outside. Spring is the time to do it! If you workout because it's just something on your to-do list, do something you enjoy from your "want-to" list like biking or hiking with family & friends. When we were kids we would simply go outside and play. Who says it should it be any different just because we're older?
5. Fresh Foods
OK, so not exactly part of your workout routine, but you can reward yourself after your workout with a trip to your local Farmers Market for fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. It's always more fun to go to a Farmer's Market than the same ole supermarket, plus the produce is fresh from local growers. Pick succulent sweet organic berries to add to your post-exercise protein shake and pick up some vegetables for dinner while you're there.
Our thoughts control our actions, yet the mind is often the most overlooked element to a rounded health and fitness routine. By adding these fresh ideas to your workout routine you'll be ready to go and ready to grow!
By Carrie Morgan CPT, CFNC