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Keep It Fresh: How To Add Variety To Your Workout

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One of the big reasons why people struggle to work out regularly is due to repetitive exercise burn-out. I have definitely been guilty of doing the exact same workouts, using the same running routes and even performing the same stretches post-run.

But no matter how much you know you ultimately benefit from your regular workouts, you are going to need to add variety to your workouts if you don’t want to burn-out and stop exercising.

Plan Out A Variety Of Workouts In Advance

A key way to ensure that you work out regularly and avoid burnout is to create a solid workout plan. Some of the elements which should be included in your workout plan to keep it fresh and regular are:

  • Set a regular time with exceptions - It is far easier to make yourself go workout if you have made exercise a habit. Choose a regular time when you know you have time to exercise. Even busy people can find time to exercise, so don’t let excuses stop you. However, weekends often change schedules. Use your weekends as a time to choose a workout you don’t often have time to do, such as going on a long hike.

  • Include your favorite exercises - Many people perform workouts they don’t actually enjoy, just because they consider the workout “good for them”. While you can keep doing these “good for you” workouts, be sure to fit in time for exercises you actually enjoy.

  • Plan for change - When following an exercise plan such as a half-marathon training plan, there will be days marked down for cross-training and not running. Many people completely skip these cross-training days, to their detriment. Even if you do not have a regular training plan yet, you should plan for days where you shake up your exercise so you don’t become bored.

Deliberately Choose New Exercises To Shake Things Up

Many people who workout regularly will define themselves with their preferred workout, such as “I’m a runner” or “I’m a competitive weightlifter”. While there isn’t anything necessarily wrong with identifying like that, it can create a kind of workout tunnel vision where you stick to one basic workout. After a while, not only are you not pushing your body’s limits and improving, but you may also be at risk of developing an overuse injury.

Some of those who are aware of these potential issues fall into similar workouts to try and avoid these problems. Yet, running on a treadmill and using an elliptical can be very similar to your brain, like a weightlifter who just switches between arm day and leg day. The sheer similarity can be a drag on your mental energy.

Instead of just going along with a similar type of workout, be deliberate in choosing your new exercises. For an example of how choosing new exercises help, consider how football players benefit from ballet practice.

Football players often suffer from a lack of flexibility, agility, and other fitness qualities as they pursue excellence in their sport. Yet, by football players practicing ballet (a sport completely unlike their own), players can gain greater ability in their chosen sport as well as enjoy a new way to workout.

Find Different Places To Workout

A long-term commitment to working out is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. Our minds require stimulating input and if you always work out at the same place, your brain can quickly become bored. Some places you may want to try working out at are:

  • Playground - These places aren’t just for kids. You can use the equipment to do a huge range of bodyweight exercises then go down the slide a few times for nostalgia sake.

  • Lakes/beaches - There is always something new to see at a lake or beach. Whether you go running, walking, or do Tai-Chi, a completely different environment can be highly stimulating for your brain.

  • Gym - Many people avoid gym workouts but these places have many pieces of equipment you can use to try new exercises. If you are already a member of a gym, use a guest pass to try out a new gym.

Keeping your workouts fresh is not only fun but is vital to help you commit to lifelong fitness. Hopefully, some of my suggestions inspire you and help you rediscover your passion for working out.

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