Routines are nice, but they can get boring after awhile. This is especially true for exercise routines. If you are bored, you are more likely to lack motivation and eventually start skipping workouts more frequently. Maybe even more frustrating than missing the exercises all-together is continuing to do them, but not seeing any results. Your body and it’s muscles get used to exercise through repetition, and if you don’t switch it up and push your limit once and awhile, you will be missing out on the many potential benefits that a well-rounded exercise program can offer (in addition to cardiovascular health, stress reduction and immune system boosting- we’re talking rock-hard abs and bulging biceps here.)
Well, running is my thing. I am not super fast and don’t usually run super far, so I could definitely start pushing myself more in one (or both) of those categories on a more regular basis. Today I had a plan to run a really fast 5K on the treadmill at the gym at work. Lo and behold, all 3 treadmills were taken when I walked in during my late lunch break (Carl- if you’re reading this, I blame you :)) . Lunch workouts are very time sensitive, so instead of waiting around for one to open up I made the decision to get on the Elliptical Machine.
Some people swear by this machine. These are also the same people who talk on their cellphones during their “workouts”. No, really, I’m sure it’s great. it’s kind on your joints and a great running alternative for anyone dealing with knee or foot pain. I. Just. Hate. It. It just seems like an unnatural motion, and I think it looks silly. I embraced it as a way for me to switch up my cardio routine though (I had lifted the day before, so that wasn’t really an option) and it did the job today. For one thing, after 30 minutes of upping the resistance I was sweating! I have mentioned this before on the blog, but I rarely sweat when I run anymore (hence needing to push myself) but I was drenched after the elliptical, not hot yoga sweaty but close.
Also, according to this machine I burned over 500 calories in 30 minutes.
I don’t think this is very accurate at all (maybe the elliptical just assumed I was a 400 pound man?) but the treadmill has never tried to sweet-talk me like that. I’ll take it.
I’m not planning on straying from my running. The workout today was a reminder of how good it can feel to switch things up though, and now I’m even more motivated to push myself with my running and to try incorporate new things more often.
How do you keep your workouts interesting, sweaty and effective?