One of the biggest challenges to working out is preventing workout dull-drum.  Staying excited about working is a key motivator in returning to the gym the next day.  Once you hit that Pilates plateau it will seem a lot more interesting to squat on the sofa, leg lift to an ottoman and curl a cocktail to your lips.  In doing so, set back with your fitness efforts. Since introducing a coach potato circuit into your routine is counter-intuitive to your fitness and weight loss goals, coming up with a workout routine that is both motivating and fun is a great way ensure you’re staying focused whole getting fit.

Check out these simple ideas that will help keep your fitness goals fun and successful.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF

Everyone is familiar with the typical cardio and weightlifting workout routines; they’ve been done to death! Not only do typical workout routines become boring and redundant at some point your body becomes used to the predictability and consequently your fitness efforts eventually plateau. Here are some simple ways to challenge your body and keep your metabolism revved up!

  • WALK CHALLENGE – Challenge yourself to walk 5,000 to 10,000 steps in a day. According to the American Heart Association adults should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. This goal can be achieved with a simple walking challenge. Walking is simple, convenient and free! And with a great partner like a pedometer, you’ll be amazed at how many steps you take just going about your daily routine. And the neat thing is if you keep in touch with your pedometer you’ll be motivated to make sure you’re keeping up with your daily step goals. For help getting started and keeping track of your walking achievements, visit www.walking works.com.
  • STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE – Perhaps you are bashful or you don’t feel confident in front of others. A great way to break free of your discomforts is to embrace exercise options that you are least likely consider like Zumba. Zumba is all the rage and is a challenging but fun way to burn a lot of calories while dancing to a variety of hot tunes ranging from salsa to dancehall. Zumba is a total work out, combining all the elements of fitness: cardio, strength, flexibility and balance. Lacking rhythm? Not to worry, even though there are a lot of dance moves with Zumba, chances are there will be others in the room that are learning just as you are. And with a few sessions you’ll be at the head of the class! So get fit while you get your groove on and find a Zumba class in your area
  • ROCK-CLIMBING WALL – Challenge yourself to complete a rock-climbing wall. Rock- climbing walls have tremendous work out benefits. Rock-climbing encompasses using the majority of your body’s major muscle groups including your brain for strategizing your climbing next move. You’ll feel the benefits of rock-climbing primarily in your upper body, arms, and shoulders. The neat thing is, if you focus on incorporating your core muscles you will reap the benefits from a great oblique workout. Another great exercised preformed during rock-climbing is pull ups. Pull ups, while proven difficult for some, is one of the key exercises in developing your core, back and shoulders. With rocking-climbing you’re essentially performing pull ups but in way that’s comfortable for you. And with rock-climbing you can bring a partner or two along for the fun! Rock-climbing. As side from all the fitness benefits, rock-climbing is fun, challenging and a great way to spend a rewarding time with family and friends.

CREATE A CARDIO PLAYLIST

Why go to the gym and be forced to listen to someone else’s idea of tunes that will get you going? It’s a no brainer that you’ll most likely bring your mp3 player or cell phone to listen to random tracks — not unlike you would during your drive home. But what a great way to use your cardio workout to tune up your mind, body and soul to a playlist that is uniquely yours. Twist and shout and burn baby burn while you enjoy all your favorite tracks. Depending on how long you plan to work out, be sure to arrange your playlist to accommodate the three phases of your workout:

  • 5 minutes – Slower tempo tracks for your warm up period
  • 10 minutes – Gradually shift into mid-tempo tracks as a prelude to your core cardio
  • 20-30 minutes – As you move into your targeted heart-rate, select up-tempo tracks
  • 10 minutes – Decrease the tempo to slow down your heart rate
  • 5 minutes – Slower tracks for a gradual cool-down period

Creating a playlist for your cardio routine will make your workout more enjoyable and before you know it your routine is complete and your soul is happy!

For more information on target heart rates, please visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

GO SHOPPING!

Go shopping for a new workout outfit and SHOW IT OFF!  Who doesn’t look forward to shopping for new gear??? Buying cute and colorful workout clothes is fun and a great way to motivate you to get out there and put your best foot forward. Looking nice while you work out makes you feel good about yourself which builds confidence.  You’ll want to be seen by other gym-goers, perhaps show off your new digs to that cute gym-mate. And if you can’t make it to the gym, go for a walk or run in your community — the world deserves to see you looking and feeling good!

MIX IT UP

Once you’ve made a pledge to improve your health, you’ll most likely target certain areas of your body like tightening your abs or toning & strengthening your arms. Perhaps your goal is to improve your cardio endurance or maybe you’re driven to improve your overall fitness level. Whatever your fitness goals are, incorporating not-so-repetitive workouts is key to keep your workout interesting.  So instead of focusing on a typical calendar-driven routine consisting of “legs day” and “cardio day” try mixing things up by dedicating a couple of your workouts to something interesting like circuit training. Not only does circuit training offer a fun fast-paced way to exercise but also it’s been proven to boost your metabolism and burn 30% more calories .

Another fun way to mix things up is with recreation. Grab a Frisbee and a friend then head outdoors for a game of Frisbee! A game of Frisbee is fun way low-impact way to take a break from the gym but not from exercising. And if you enjoy outdoor play head to your local school, neighborhood park or even a large open area and challenge your friends and family to a relay race! Grab a few light weight batons or a like object of your choice and carve out zones to exchange it from player to player. For added challenge, turn your relay race into field play. Instead of using batons grab hula-hoops, jump ropes, tennis balls and Frisbees for each team and create a fun-filled course! With all the fun and exercise everyone will be a winner!

With so many creative and effective ways to burn calories there is never a loss for imaginative ways to keep workouts interesting both inside and outside of a gym setting. Almost everything you do involving physical activity can be considered exercise. So keep it fun, keep it inventive and KEEP IT MOVING!