Spring Clean Your Exercise Routine

By Marianne Morano, M.S., ACSM, CWC

So now that we are a couple of months into the New Year and you are trying desperately to sustain your New Year’s resolution to continue exercising, are you getting bored with the same old exercises?

This article aims to address exercise boredom, why it is a reason for failed New Year resolutions, and how to resolve this issue with new and fun ways to clean up your exercise routine.

As spring has arrived, and summer will follow shortly, we are mostly concerned this time of year with getting our bodies FIT.  If boredom is an issue, motivation will wane and eventually exercise sessions will falter, ultimately causing us to feel frustrated, guilty, and may lead to a vicious cycle of poor habit choices. Most people need motivation to exercise and if you are bored with the type of exercises you are currently involved in, studies show that you are more likely to refrain from activity.

The body and brain adapt to exercise and as such, new stimuli need to be created to keep us engaged. The brain is wired to accept new stimuli even though we are sometimes afraid to try something new. Fire up your brain neurons and you will continually excite the pleasure center in the brain similarly to how it lights up with sugar consumption, except it will happen with exercise, a much healthier choice for the pleasure center in our brain.

Exercise boredom is an obstacle; however, don’t let it derail you on your journey to a more active lifestyle. Keep changing it up and trying new things. The American College of Sports Medicine has a top 10 list of exercise trends for 2017 to offer ideas to keep things fresh. http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media-room/news-releases/2016/10/26/top-fitness-trend-for-2017-is-wearable-technology

Be social and work out with a family member or friend to challenge and motivate you. It is important to choose activities you enjoy to avoid boredom and remain active. This link offers some ideas for mixing up your activity to avoid boredom http://www.secondscount.org/heart-resources/heart-resources-detail?cid=19ac848a-bec6-40f3-8a0a-d0bda8bdcea7#.WHO6ILGZNBw

Suggestions For Cleaning Up Your Exercise Routine

  • Change your workout music playlist,
  • Download an exercise APP,
  • Try fitness technology trackers and different exercise equipment,
  • Change your walking/hiking path,
  • Challenge different muscle groups each day,
  • Try interval or Tabata training,
  • Join a group class or fitness challenge,
  • Take your workouts outdoors,
  • Be time efficient with quick routines,
  • Try supersets with weights when weight training to add a cardiovascular component  to the session
  • Use combo moves during resistance training sessions to challenge many muscle groups
  • Cross train,
  • Turn your workout into a game or challenge,
  • Add stretching and foam rolling,
  • Enlist a trainer,
  • Take up a sport,
  • Combine exercise with a favorite TV show,
  • Set goals and accountability,
  • Schedule the activity session to be sure it is part of your day
  •  Most importantly, make it fun.

In conclusion, if after you have tried to vary your routine and try many different activities you are still bored, then the likely cause is you haven’t found what you love with regard to movement. If you can fall in love with physical movement then you will be hooked and exercise will become a part of your life for life. As you begin to notice how great you feel after an exercise session and how important it is to keeping your body running efficiently and effectively to prevent disease and aging, then you will fall in love with movement and you will find things that excite you and keep exciting you indefinitely. There is an endless amount of possibilities for physical activity with no shortage of ideas, so there is no excuse to not find something you love to do regarding movement. Bottom line is to fall in love with the challenge of physical movement and living, instead of chasing the quick fix to being FIT!  Keep a schedule, keep it simple, keep it challenging, and keep it fun!  The choice is yours…


Marianne E. Morano, M.S., ACSM, CWC serves on Cancer Schmancer's Medical Advisory Board. She is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and the CEO and Founder of Fit or WHAT, Inc. Her mission is to empower clients and the community to achieve their personal best through healthy lifestyle programs, creating longevity and quality of life.