Who here loves running on the treadmill?
Didn’t think so.
A major reason many people can't stick to an exercise regimen is because they don't enjoy the actual act of exercising. Some people dread it and others just find it very boring. Not sure why, because robotically staring at a screen while you run in the same spot for 60 minutes can be thrilling.
Joking of course.
The fact is that running on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike is the go-to exercise for most Americans. So there's no wonder that people find it boring.
I'm a firm believer that your exercise routine has to be somewhat tolerable if you want any chance of sustaining your results long term and making it part of your lifestyle.If you enjoy your exercise slightly, even better.
So how do you reduce the boredom in your regimen?
Here are three keys I’ve learned that help do that...
1) Strength Training Over Cardio
One way to keep your workouts fresh is to follow a strength training routine. Completing various exercises without doing the same thing for an hour (running, cycling, etc). Keeping rest periods to 60 seconds or less and pairing exercises together into circuits keeps you moving at a fast pace and even burns more calories than your cardio would anyway.
This constant movement and changing exercises almost completely eliminates any boredom because you don’t really have the opportunity to think about how bored you are.You might be saying, “but don't I have to do cardio if I want to lose weight or body fat?”
Running or other cardio is not always an efficient way to burn calories. Typically you have to do it for a long period of time, it doesn't help maintain strength and it's not helping to build your metabolism very well.
2) Do An Activity You Enjoy
This is a no-brainer right? I always recommend some form of strength training for everyone, but if you can mix in some activities that you enjoy that makes exercising not so bad. Whether it’s a sport you like or something you can do with friends and family like hiking or walking the dogs, these are great options to include into your regimen once or twice per week.
However, I wouldn’t expect to go for a nice walk 3-5 times a week and expect to lose significant weight just from that. But it is a great way to introduce some low impact or moderate exercise into your week that you look forward to.
3) Upgrade Your Environment
Working out by yourself day after day can get very lonely and start feeling like a chore sometimes. If you’re not naturally motivated to workout it may get challenging to fight that battle every day of convincing yourself to go to the gym. However, if your environment was one that provided you daily support, accountability, and motivation. . . it wouldn’t be so boring and difficult!
But how can you “upgrade your environment?”
I’ve seen a few options that work really well. You can hire a Personal Trainer. They are there during your workouts to help push you a little harder than you would yourself and part of their job is to make exercise NOT boring. If you dread workouts with your trainer, there is something wrong. They should be somewhat fun to be around and give you a challenging workout that doesn’t leave you immobile for the next 6 days. Feeling like you’re about to die during a workout isn’t necessarily the indication that it’s a productive workout.
A second way to change your environment is to find a workout partner or group. Make sure you find the RIGHT partner though! Going to the gym and talking the whole time isn’t necessarily helping your health or fitness level. Find someone who is motivated like you and trustworthy. Someone who will stay committed to your sessions.
A third way is to hire an online fitness coach or join a community of individuals on a similar journey to you. With social media there are so many groups emerging on countless platforms for people looking for support or other driven people to connect with. An online coach and community would likely provide daily check-ins and a way to share progress. This connection can become something to look forward to during or after a workout. Even if you aren’t physically with someone else while you workout, it prevents you from being fully alone on your fitness journey.
Author Bio: Jesse Rosenthal is a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. He founded Rose Fitness NY which offers private training in NY & NJ, Online Fitness & Nutrition Consulting through their mobile app, and LIVE streamed training sessions that can be done from anywhere. You can find out more about Jesse on his website and on Facebook and Instagram.
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Yours in health,