December 15, 2009
Experiencing boredom while exercising may be a sign that your current workout program is need of a facelift. To combat boredom, the first thing to do is evaluate what exactly it is about your program (e.g. running on a treadmill) that you find to be boring. Once you’ve pinpointed exactly what it is that is a bit lackluster, try adding some variety to the activity at hand. For example, if you are currently running on the treadmill for 30 minutes at a steady pace of 5.5 mph, try interval training. This could come in the form of altering the intensity by picking up the pace every few minutes and then returning to your usual speed, or you may opt to alter your “terrain” by adjusting the incline on the treadmill every few minutes while maintaining a consistent speed (or if weather permits, take your workout outdoors).
If you are still finding yourself experiencing boredom after making the above mentioned changes, then you may want to consider taking up an entirely new activity. That could mean using a different piece of cardio equipment (e.g., elliptical, stationary bicycle, etc) or perhaps taking on something you never thought you would do, such as joining a recreational sports team or taking group fitness classes. The concept of cross training, in which you substitute your normal activity with another activity a few days a week, can have many great benefits. It is also important to ensure that your program is well-rounded, and includes elements of cardiovascular exercise, resistance training, and flexibility training.
Also if technology is your thing, you may opt to include some exercise gadgets into your workouts, such as heart rate monitors, pedometers or iPods. These small, portable, relatively inexpensive tools may help to provide the added motivation you’re looking for.
Still struggling to find motivated? Check out these strategies for success.
Jessica Matthews, MS, E-RYTContributor
Jessica Matthews, M.S., E-RYT is assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College. As a leading fitness expert, writer and educator Jessica is a regular contributor to numerous publications, including Shape and Oprah.com. She holds a B.S. in physical education teacher education from Coastal Carolina University and M.S. in physical education from Canisius College. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Health Coach through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as well as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) through Yoga Alliance and trained stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga instructor. Prior to teaching at Miramar, Jessica worked full-time ACE, serving in a number of key roles including exercise physiologist, certification director and senior health and fitness editor. Her past work also includes serving as aquatics director at Conway Medical Wellness and Fitness Center and designing health and physical education curriculum for grades K-12. Full Bio Jessica Matthews »