Whether the New Year or swimsuit season is approaching, you are striving to reach your fitness goals. Maybe your normal routine has grown a bit boring and you are struggling to keep yourself motivated to stay on track. Maybe you have hit a frustrating plateau in your progress and cannot seem to get past it. Sometimes, fresh ideas can take your workout routine from stagnant to stimulating.
Try Something New
You may have always wanted to try a new sport, but now in adulthood, you feel that it is too late. Whether it is dancing, soccer, or co-ed softball, there is something out there to fit your interests. Step out of your comfort zone and research the programs offered by your parks and recreation department. Look for beginner's classes at your local junior college. Pick up a group exercise schedule at your fitness center and try a new class.
Get Others Involved
Get friends together and come up with a competitive challenge to do together. For instance, a good co-ed challenge is to see who can lose the highest percentage of body fat. Start by having a professional take your pre-competition measurements. Keep the competition at least four weeks long and then get your post evaluation done. To sweeten the pot, each person competing can contribute $10.00 and the winner takes all.
Write Down Your Own Challenge
Revisit your fitness goals and rewrite them, being more specific. What is it that you truly want to accomplish? Would you like to be able to run a mile in under nine minutes? If so, mold your training plan around that goal. If your goal is speed, start implementing interval training into your routine. If it is strength, put a heavy weight lifting day on your schedule. If your goal is weight loss, try adding a couple of full-body circuit training sessions to your week.
If you set small goals for yourself, you can also set prizes that you win for reaching them along the way. Your reward could be something small like downloading five songs to your MP3 player for every pound you lose. Scheduling a massage after every ten completed workouts is a great perk to keep you motivated. A shopping spree to get some new clothes in a smaller size is a great reward for reaching your weight loss goal.
- President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition: Why Is It Important?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do You Need?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Adding Physical Activity to Your Life
- Austin Community College: Absolute Advantage: Getting Active -- Physical Activity at Work