The spring season represents rebirth, renewal and growth. It’s a time to welcome longer and brighter days and bid farewell to cabin fever. It’s also the perfect time to rejuvenate a tired routine and integrate new activities into your workouts.
Although humans are creatures of habit and comfort, frequently changing your workout program is necessary to avoid and/or overcome a plateau, achieve performance gains and accomplish new levels of fitness. But how do you know when the time for change has come?
When to Change Your Fitness Routine
The body (and mind) experience boredom when a workout routine has worn out its welcome. If you experience any of the following signals, it’s time to infuse new energy into your program.
- You no longer feel a sense of joy for the activity or routine.
- You stop seeing results or making progress.
- You find yourself watching the clock instead of your form.
- You don’t feel energized after completing a workout.
- You feel unusually fatigued or you don’t feel energized or inspired.
Knowing when to change a workout routine or revise a workout schedule requires reflection. Develop a sense of awareness about how you feel before, during and after exercise. Hone your sense of self and honestly assess whether or not your current routine is doing its job. If not, revise, refresh and relaunch your program.
What Exercise to Chane and How to Change Them
If you’re struggling with what to dismiss from your current workout regimen, carefully evaluate the components individually as well as how they fit together in the program. Here are four key questions to ask yourself:
- Does my current workout routine match my fitness goal(s)?
- Does this (any component of the routine or specific exercise) still bring me joy?
- Do I look forward to the next workout?
- Do I feel challenged physically?
If you answer no to any of those questions, it’s time to switch things up. Fortunately, there are endless ways to refresh your workouts. Here are seven ideas to help you give your routine a much needed (and deserved) springtime facelift.
- Take it outside. Sometimes a change of venue is all that’s necessary to shake off the winter blues. Try doing outdoor yoga, a boot-camp class or a high-intensity interval circuit in the park.
- Register for a run (or other activity). Nothing provides motivation like a deadline. Spring tends to be the "kick off" to events such as 5Ks, dirt duathlons and hiking challenges. Check out what opportunities are coming up in your area and start training.
- Get up early. Spring (and summer) gives us lighter days in the morning, so take advantage of it and greet the day with a good sweat.
- Try a new mode. It’s easy to keep doing the same thing over and over, but if you want to move your fitness threshold a bit further, try a new type of activity. For example, if you like to stick to free weights, try incorporating some other strength tools such as resistance bands, sandbags or Kettlebells.
- Invest in new gear. New workout clothes and shoes might be just the ticket for you to get moving.
- Try a new class. Group fitness classes can be the gateway to new forms of movement. This type of environment also offers valuable social support you may not experience otherwise.
- Take a lesson. Outdoor sports can be a fun way to combine activity with family, couples or friend time. Consider tennis or golf (or any other activity that seems intriguing).
Whatever changes you choose to integrate into your fitness plan, prioritize joy. If an activity feels like torture, your commitment to being active will eventually wane. If you try something and decide it's not the right fit for you, move on to something else. Living actively does not look the same for everyone; rather, it’s as individualized as you are, and enjoyment is a crucial ingredient in the active living formula.
Deliver the individualized exercise programs to help people be in their best shape with ACE’s Personal Trainer Certification.