We have all heard the refrain: consistency is key. Whether it’s about maintaining a clean house, sticking to a solid nightly skincare routine or calendaring your daily sweat sessions, routine is the best way to get results.
With that said, your fitness routine doesn’t have to look the same in a standard gym or studio all the time.
Your Signs to Switch it Up
If you’re wondering if it’s time for you to switch up your fitness routine and head out of a traditional sweat space, here are a few things to look out for.
1. You’re bored
If you’ve been following the same weekly strength and cardio routine or booking the same spin and barre classes for years, you might hit workout fatigue. Perhaps hitting the gym feels like a chore or you’re counting the seconds til your class is over. It’s natural — and a key sign that your routine needs a refresh.
2. You are getting injured
When you put your body through the same motions over and over again, you can injure your muscles, joints and ligaments, as they aren’t getting the chance to rest and recover. Switching up your schedule allows you to still stay healthy while helping you heal from any overuse injuries.
3. You’ve hit a plateau
When you perform the same exercises often, your nervous system catches on and becomes more efficient in recruiting muscles. In simpler terms, the more you do the same exercises repeatedly, you may burn fewer calories and build muscle at a slower rate. If you’ve stalled completely (without your sleep or stress changing significantly!), this may be a key sign that it is time for a change.
Change is Good
Habits are good, but so is change. Trust us: your body and mind will love the benefits of switching up your stale routine. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Improves strength, flexibility and performance
When you recruit the same muscles over and over again, you could be neglecting a whole set of them, including those oh-so important stabilizing muscles. If you switch up your routine, you can incorporate new muscle groups, flexibility training and cardiorespiratory activities for a more well-rounded fitness program.
Plus, you can move in more planes of motion. Maybe you tend to stick to front-to-back exercises or up-and-down movements. By changing it up, you can add in some side-to-side and rotational movements too. All of this can help increase your overall performance and strength down the line.
2. Keeps your brain healthy
Exercise isn’t just about the body. Integrating new skills and new movements in your fitness routine can help your neurons fire better as they learn new things and stay engaged. Hello, better memory and a healthier mind!
3. Builds relationships
Exercising and engaging in movement is one of the best ways to meet new people and strengthen existing relationships. Recruit a friend to embark with you on a new routine or join a fitness club or meetup group to kick off your new schedule with potential pals.
4. Beats boredom
Does anyone like being bored? We thought so. By varying your fitness schedule, you can stay motivated, excited, engaged — and consistent. You’re less likely to miss your daily movement if you’re eager to do it.
So, What Should I Do?
If you want to switch up your routine, of course you can adjust your tempo, reps and movements in the gym. But, working out can be whatever you want it to be. And for us, some of our favorite ways to beat boredom and reintroduce excitement into our health journey are things that take place outside of a gym and a studio — and sometimes don’t even feel like a workout!
Here are some ideas:
1. Hit the water
Kayaking is a great form of exercise that engages your core and builds upper body strength. If you’re not keen on kayaking, opt for standup paddleboarding. SUP is a great core workout for both your abs and lower back. Plus, you can enjoy nature, which benefits your physical and mental health.
2. Hole in one
A day on the green golfing involves flexibility, cardio and strength! Swinging concentrates core strength, while walking between holes can add up to four to eight miles. And, yes, a day at Topgolf counts!
3. Ride time
Taking your trusty bike for a spin around the neighborhood or beyond builds lower body strength and offers a low-impact cardio activity. It’s environmentally healthy too!
4. Take hold
Both indoor and outdoor rock climbing and bouldering use upper and lower body strength and build forearm strength, which can help you pick up heavier weights down the line! Plus, rock climbing uses mental work and strategy to keep your mind engaged.
5. Court time
Pickleball isn’t just trendy; it’s a cardio workout! Pickleball is a low-impact aerobic exercise option that also works your forearms, biceps, triceps and lower body. And, moving around the court is a form of agility training.
6. Lace it up
Slap on a pair of rollerblades or roller skates for a low-key hip and leg burn that works two key areas of your tush. Skating also creates body stability and challenges and builds balance.
7. Hot girl walks
A brisk walk can boost heart health and strengthen your lower body. Add in some friends for a healthy swap to your traditional happy hour. For a more adventurous spin, head to a local trail for a hike. Not only does hiking promote heart and lung health, it tones large muscle groups in your lower body, as well as smaller stabilizing muscles. We don’t mind soaking up the Vitamin D too!
8. Dance party
Dancing — whether in class or just for a few minutes around your empty kitchen — can work minute muscles that you might miss otherwise. Plus, it improves agility, flexibility and balance. And, you can’t have a dance party without smiling!
Listen to That Intuition
If the thought of your normal fitness routine conjures up a sense of doom and dread or you find yourself injured, it might be your cue to opt into some untraditional, out-of-the-box (or gym, in this case!) movement.
Working out doesn’t have to look the same every day, and it doesn’t have to get complicated to swap a stale schedule.
What are your favorite ways to switch up your routine?
Let us know in the comments!