In a work-out rut? Here’s 5 ways to trick yourself into exercising
By Brittany Anas
For those of us in states that get all four seasons, this year’s especially brutal winter kept our workouts tethered to the gym (except for those weekends we could sneak up to the mountains for some fresh powder). By April, we feel like The Walking Dead on treadmills, eager for a change in our workout schedule. We suspect we’re not the only ones who fall victim to exercise ruts, though. The real problem is once a workout gets boring, you of course are more likely to play hooky from it.
Here are 5 tips for tricking yourself into working out and staying on track — especially right before swimsuit season.
- Make a play date with your kids. Remember when you’d rush off the school bus so that you could play with your buddies before dinnertime? Win back that enthusiasm for exercise — that just feels like playing instead of something you have to do. Squeeze in 30 minutes of cardio by playing with your kiddos now that the temperatures have warmed up and it’s staying lighter out longer. A few ideas? Show them how to play Four Square or H-O-R-S-E. Hula-hooping is an amazing ab workout. (Check out this Stamina Fitness Hoop that comes with a foam pad for extra comfort and earn up to 4 percent Cash Back on your purchases at Walmart when you shop with ShopAtHome.com). Going for a bike ride after dinner will torch calories. Even doing carthweels in the grass or tossing the baseball around is much better than sinking into the couch to watch television. A good-ole’ fashion game of double dutch jump roping is one of the best cardio workouts you can get.
- Freeze your gym membership. Save money by putting your gym membership on hold for the warmer months and exercise instead in the outdoors — whether that’s going for a trail run one night, swimming laps at an outdoor pool the next and going for a hike on the weekends. Take advantage of nature’s playground and you’ll feel renewed when you hit the gym again in the fall. If you still need to get some strength training in, get a punch card to your local recreation center that you can use throughout the spring and summer months.
- Change up your playlist. Scientific studies have shown that exercising to a fast beat helps us keep up a pace. A simple change to your workout regimen — like switching up your playlist with some new songs or only allowing yourself to binge watch Scandal while you’re on the elliptical could be just the tweak you need to get you excited about hitting the gym.
- Set a new goal. Maybe it’s trimming a minute off your mile or adding an extra 20 pounds to the bench press. Don’t let yourself get too comfortable.
- Pack your gym bag the night before. Then set it in front of the door or in your car. It’s one less excuse you’ll have come workout time. (Read about perfect gym bag essentials here). This Goodhope Bag from Walmart comes with a side panel with air vents to keep your gym shoes separate and also has a side compartment organizer for your toiletries.
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