Don’t Let Your Exercise Get Stale


 Don’t Let Your Exercise Get Stale

It's so easy these days to get stuck in a rut and just keep slogging through the same few workouts. But don't let your exercise routine drag you down. Check out these five ways to inject some life into your workouts—and literally shape up!

* 1. Choose an active sport: Playing a sport is way more fun than just running on the treadmill for hours, and it can be more of a challenge too!
 * 2. Mix up your timing: To shake things up, try turning one of your scheduled workout days into an evening workout or vice versa!   * 3. Work for a challenge: Changing things up means you'll have to work harder during your workout.  * 4. Don't forget about the warm-up: If you're not already getting one, a good warm-up before each workout will help you get in the mood and stay motivated. * 5. Go outside: Adding some fresh air during your workout can make it feel more energizing—and it can even help prevent injuries!


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No, you’re not imagining things: Feeling tired and unmotivated? You might be on the verge of a workout slump.

Workout slumps aren’t life threatening, but they can definitely make your life less enjoyable. If you’re tired of feeling like you just don’t have it in you to exercise, a little shakeup in your routine—and some fresh thinking about why and how you get active—can go a long way toward jumpstarting your mojo and getting your fitness back on track. (Though, you may want to start the next chapter with an energy boost!)

As I’ve already explained, the first step to getting back on track is recognizing that a slump is more than just a bad mood. Slumps come from your lack of motivation—and a lack of motivation can be caused by many different things. Sometimes it's nothing more than a hard-to-get-out-of routine—like exercising at night or only doing cardio. (More on how to avoid this in the next section.) Other times you may be anticipating something negative about your workout—like getting tired or frustrated—which can lead you to start thinking about quitting before you even get started. And if you’re not careful, these kinds of thoughts can lead right down a slippery slope to actually stopping your workout.


Sometimes it can be tough to tell the difference between a slump and something else. For example, what should you do if you feel like your motivation is low because of an actual physical illness, like the flu? Should you push through or rest up? The answer depends on why your energy level has dropped in the first place. If you’re experiencing flu symptoms but still want to get to the gym for a workout, you should probably try to get in there and work out. (If your fatigue is because of the flu, then taking it easy may not be a bad idea at all. You shouldn’t push through any sickness.) However, if you’re sick and worried about getting sick again from exercising—or worried that aggressive exercise could push your illness, make your symptoms worse, or even cause other health problems—then resting up might be smarter. (Again, though, the main point here is to use your common sense. Don’t do anything that hurts you or makes you feel bad unless you’re completely convinced it’s the right thing for you—like if your body is telling you otherwise.)

Sometimes low motivation may be psychological in nature. It could be an indication that you need to get over a rough spot in your life—like a boss who is being really aggravating, or a breakup, or some other upsetting event. Feeling tired and unmotivated can also be caused by something as silly as getting bored—or even more serious like depression.


Some people find that switching up their workout routine helps them get over a slump. Maybe you’ve been running on the treadmill monday through friday, or you’ve been running for an hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the past six weeks. If you switch up your routine to add in a new and totally different workout—a cardio-type run on Saturday instead of Monday, for example—you might feel less tired and more energized the next time you work out. This can help keep your motivation levels up because it’s something totally new that makes you think differently about working out and makes your body crave exercise.

Others find that a different type of workout—like swimming, maybe—helps them get over slumps. If you’ve been going to the gym on a regular basis but haven’t been pushing yourself to do more and better exercises, then this extra push can help you see how much more you can accomplish. You can also try the opposite: doing your usual workout harder or faster than normal. If your usual workout is a walk around the park, aiming for fastest-time-ever during that walk might give you some new healthy competition that could help you power through difficult times.

Conclusion: If you’re feeling tired and unmotivated, making a change in your workout routine (or sometimes even switching up) could help you get back on track.


When I was a kid, the first step to every fun activity involved food. Like every other kid of my generation, I loved to play outside. When it came to the activities that my friends and I did regularly, we played tag or kickball or rode bikes: just things that everyone in our neighborhood did and enjoyed doing.

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