HOW TO PUT FUN AND INTEREST INTO YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINES
When it comes to exercise, or anything for that matter; don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut.
Physical activities can be so much more enjoyable if we just follow a few simple suggestions for adding a little variety into routine workouts.
CHANGE THE SCENERY OFTEN
If you go walking or running or exercising in the same place every day, you will eventually begin to tire of the same old scenery.
I grabbed a hint about this by observing one of my daughters.
When it comes time for her daily jog, she just takes advantage of wherever or whatever place she finds herself living in at the moment.
Most of us would postpone or rearrange or wait to go home to fit that part of our daily routine into our day’s activities. We tend to do the same exercise, in the same place, at the same time every day; or we postpone or skip.
Take advantage of the amazing changing qualities in your days.
Enjoy the moments you are living inside of right now.
Exercise right where you find yourself living at the moment. If you can move and exercise in a familiar place; you can move and exercise in an unfamiliar place.
Just start walking!
WHERE EVER YOU ARE; STOP AND EXERCISE
It is actually just that simple.
If this girl is at a friend’s house; she asks her friend to walk around the neighborhood with her while they talk.
If she is at the office, she goes outside and explores the city on her walk.
If she is driving and she sees a nice little park; she stops and takes advantage of the good timing! If there is no park; well there is always the side of a road. No problem. (Please do take all safety precautions though.)
You don’t have to exercise in the same place every day!
CHOOSE TO EXERCISE OUTSIDE WHENEVER YOU CAN
Nature never gets boring, so why not chose outside over the gym whenever you can?
If you do this often enough you will find that whenever you CAN’T go outside, the gym will begin to feel novel to you instead of boring. Alternating places keeps both places fresh and new.
EXERCISE YOUR SENSES TOO
Do you listen to headphones whenever you walk?
That is a great way to incorporate your sense of hearing into your exercise routine; but don’t do it every day, or don’t do it in the SAME WAY every day. Some days listen to books on tape or listen to your favorite music on the radio. It is more fun to mix it up.
On other days make phone calls, or just enjoy the sound of silence in your ears. It is most beautiful.
Have days just to listen to the sounds around you. Listen for water lapping in the creek or birds chirping in the trees. Listen for the laughter of children and the sound of a song from a person in the distance, or maybe you will have a bonus day and actually hear church bells chiming!
Become more sound-aware as you walk, it will keep your mind occupied and make the walking a lot more fun instead of a dreaded chore.
Incorporate your sense of sight by noticing things about your surroundings.
Instead of focusing on how fast you are running, or how many times your pulse is beating; try simply looking around as you walk or run or exercise.
What do you see?
Develop a keen sense of noticing the beauty of nature, the novelty of your city-scape, or the peacefulness of the countryside. What things are new? What things are old? Which places do you relate to the most?
Let your eyes feast on the places that you love to encounter as you exercise.
You will begin to feel and think like an artist and your exercise will be enhanced because you will have more enthusiasm for the journey.
Pay attention to abstracts that you see in the landscape. Do those shadows look like they have a message?
Let your eyes sharpen your imagination as you pound the pavement and keep moving forward.
Use your sense of touch as an inspiration to keep moving.
After so many miles; allow yourself to stop and stroke the face of the waiting horse beside your gate; or inspire yourself to go a mile further in order to pick a bouquet of lovely flowers from a garden for your dinner table centerpiece later.
Take a moment to pet your dog or your cat and you can even invite them to come and exercise with you.
Be inspired by the different tastes and smells along your journey.
Walk to a local coffee shop occasionally instead of following the typical walking trail. Sit down for a few minutes and bask in the goodness of a cup of Joe, and then continue your exercise.
Breathe in the smells of bakeries and restaurants along your street. Try to guess what they are serving today as you jog past them. You might just become a more regular customer! Remember to count those calories though.
You will have to stop in occasionally to see if your guesses are accurate. Not every day, but occasionally reward yourself with maybe something a bit healthy, like a yogurt from a local shop. Coffee doesn’t have calories! Neither does water. An occasional treat is well deserved anyway. Just don’t over indulge. Be refreshed and continue to exercise afterward.
INCORPORATE YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES INTO YOUR EXERCISE
My favorite thing to do when I walk is to take photographs of nature and all of its novel surroundings. You actually wind up walking further because you don’t even notice how quickly the time passes. Time flies by when you are busy looking for that perfect camera-shot. It is easy to think you are not even exercising; but you are.
If you are a writer, try composing stories or poetry inside your head as you get your daily exercise. It will still be fresh on your mind when you return to your desk after the exercise time is over.
You will have longer to think before putting things down on paper and you may come up with better ideas this way. You won’t feel guilty for neglecting your work while you walk or work out. The two pair together well; like good wine and excellent cheese. Besides; there is nothing like healthy lungs full of fresh air to inspire words of wisdom and joy.
Do you love to sing?
No one would mind hearing you make a joyful noise as you are jogging down the lane. Let your song overflow into your exercise routines. Those voice muscles need exercising too. Don’t save it all for the shower.
Do you paint or draw?
Keep a lookout as you walk or jog for objects and scenery for your next sketching project. You will be amazed at the ideas that pop into your head if you just stay focused on your hobby while you exercise.
Let your next exercise time become a time of inspiration.
Or maybe the exercise you enjoy the most IS you favorite hobby.
Do you love riding your bike or working in your garden?
Do you like rafting down a river, hiking, ice skating, bowling, rollerblading or snowboarding?
Are you an avid tennis player?
Do you enjoy horseback-riding?
Why not enjoy your hobby and get your exercise all at one time?
What could be better?
RECRUIT FRIENDS TO JOIN YOU
Do you often find yourself pressed for enough time to chat with your best friend, or get to know your neighbors better? This is easily solved by inviting them to join you on your next walk, hike, run, paddle-boat adventure, trip to the gym, or swim.
Exercise does not have to be a lonely experience.
If you aren’t totally into solitude; invite a friend to come along. Two people exercising together brings double benefits, not to mention the fact that it will heighten the friendship experience for both of you.
CHANGE YOUR ROUTINES EVERY DAY
We all know that change makes life much more interesting. Don’t let your exercise experience get boring because it is always the same old routine.
If you walk every day of the week, change your trails daily. Go to the park one day and the walk inside the mall the next day. Take a stroll through the city sometimes; but look for country roads to jog on too.
If you find you are still tired of walking EVERY day, you really don’t have to walk all the time – try swimming one day, biking one day and walking one day. Change things up a bit; but keep moving in everything you do.
Alternate your activities and keep mixing them up.
Every now and then gather the neighborhood together around your basketball goal and have a friendly little neighborhood game instead of simply pacing around the block. You might make some new friends; you never know!
Inviting other interesting people to participate in your exercise routines with you makes things a lot more interesting and you are more likely to continue the activity with a partner by your side.
Don’t be a hermit all the time – invite a friend to join you.
HEALTHY DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BORING
Staying healthy is just about living better, not at all about being bored. A little imagination goes a long way toward your eventual greater happiness. Incorporate a few of these suggestions and I promise you will be loving your exercise routine again.
Keep moving and keep thinking of ways that you can make positive refreshing changes that will keep you out there moving and inspired about life.