Five ways to keep your workouts from putting you to sleep


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Inspired by Lisa’s post to change things up a bit, I wanted to share what has helped lately to  snap me out of that rut of boredom we all get hit with from time to time. If you haven’t read her post or Ann’s post about the importance and benefits of lifting weights, you should stop what you are doing and go read them now. They have both helped to freshen and liven up my activity level as of late.

I am typically all about the cardio. Cardio cardio cardio! In my mind, there has been a long-standing equation and it looks like this: Cardio = exercise. A walk or run was good enough for me. Case closed, it’s exercise and good for your heart. But doing the same old power walks or running routes (back before the long-winter derailed  interrupted my running habit for a bit, but let’s not go there), can have another equation as in = zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Snoozefest.

Keep in mind that I do not currently belong to a gym that provides group fitness classes. I have to find ways to mix things up on my own. If if you do belong to a gym with a variety of classes, challenge yourself to go a whole week with taking a different class each day. Here’s how I have been mixing things up lately:

  • Workout Labs – I forgot how I stumbled onto this fantastic resource. It’s a site devoted to free, printable PDF workouts. You can search by body part you want to work or type of equipment you want to use (dumbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, etc.). Lately with the weather getting warmer (finally!), I have been obsessed with upper body workouts, thinking about those tank tops and sleeveless shirts. Enter the Summer Sleeveless Arm Toner workout.
  • GymBoss – This free app, available for iPhone or Andriod users, has been a lifesaver when it comes to the ability to set up intervals, time my sprints or create Tabata-style workouts, all of which kicks boredom to the curb. You never have to worry about looking at watch to time your intervals. The app does that all for you and alerts you with different sounds when the intervals change, all the while still allowing you to play your favorite playlists. Rock on.
  • The DIY Grab Bag. I keep a tote bag near the TV. It contains about a dozen workout DVDs I checked out for free from my local library. Tao Bo, The Firm, Jillian Michaels, Ballet Barre (my new favorites), Stomperobics, Dancing with the Stars’ Dance it Off, you name it.  All this week, I have started out each day by closing my eyes, reaching in and pulling out a DVD. Whatever it is, that is the workout of the morning. Dare I say it, this has made my morning exercise time FUN?! I reach in almost as if I am getting ready to open a new gift. I wake up and wonder “what will it be this morning?”
  • Pinterest. We all know how addictive this site can be for DIY projects and recipes, but do you know how addictive it can be when looking for workout routines? Some days I just enter a search term and tell myself “you will do whatever workout catches your eye first.” Check out this awesome list from the folks at Greatist: The 30 Must-Follow Health & Fitness Boards on Pinterest.  And of course, while you’re there, be sure to follow The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans!
  • YouTube. Again, challenge yourself to see how many different workouts you can do in a week, or a whole month. My new “thing” is ballet barre workouts and any type of dance fitness videos. This girl is my new crush. I can’t do the moves too well but I sure get my heart rate up trying!  YouTube is chock full of free workouts, any ol’ kind you could possibly want.

Next month, I am seriously considering doing something like “20 in 20″ – Twenty different workouts in 20 days. Or something along those lines! Anyone want to join me?

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