In high school, my brother and his buddies started a band. Not only were they a crazy-talented bunch, they also had an uncanny ability to throw a concert together on a moment’s notice and fill the room with 300 or more avid fans. Last summer, they got the band back together for a one-night-only concert on the lake. It was a blast and we’re looking forward to an encore this year. It proved to me that you can go back and relive experiences from your past. With summer in full stride, maybe it’s time to shake up your fitness routine, rekindle some passions of your own and maybe even cultivate a few new ones.
Break the Boredom
If you find yourself stuck in a fitness rut, summer is the perfect season to shape up your workout routine. Not only is it good for your psyche, it’s great for your muscles and your brain. With over 600 muscles in your body, putting variety into your fitness playlist will payoff with dividends like:
- Reducing injury
- Improving core body strength & conditioning
- Improving balance and coordination
- Increasing motivation
- Accelerating weight loss and increasing metabolism
- Reducing boredom
- Improving alertness and mental acuity as your brain gets stimulated with fresh activity
Back to the Future
Now that you know the benefits of cross-training, you may be trying to figure out exactly what you should do. The secret to future fitness success may be buried in your past. Think about the activities you loved as a kid. Did you play baseball or softball? Did you spend endless hours in the water? Here are three steps you can take right now to kindle a new romance with your workout routine:
- Pursue your passion — it has been said that when you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, the same is true with your workouts. By first doing what you love, you’ll never feel like you’re working out. If you hate to run, get off the treadmill and get on a bike. And just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean it will work for you either. If you’re not a dancer, avoid zumba. If you ever had visions of winning the Stanley cup, throw on a pair of in-line skates and get moving.
- Break your boundaries — was there ever a sport or activity you never got to do as a kid? Now is the time to break some boundaries you’ve set for yourself and try something new. I used to love climbing trees as a kid. A few years ago, I went on an adventure challenge and learned how to scale a 110ft vertical cliff — now I’m hooked on the sport. My mom has just taken up horseback riding and is loving her new-found confidence and its helping her advance her fitness and confidence level. She’s becoming unstoppable and having the time of her life in the process. Even my grandmother took up swimming very late in life. I always remember stopping by for a visit only to see her parading around in her swimsuit on her way to class — go Grandma!
- Crank it up — I know my brother’s band is working on a new playlist for their concert this summer. You can do the same thing by finding some motivating music to keep things fresh. Check out Fitness Magazine’s top 100 workout songs. Find a workout buddy who will not only keep you company but will also help to motivate and inspire you to pick up the pace.
As a note of caution, everyone has different health needs and history. Before beginning a new program or activity, be smart and make sure you are fit enough to tackle it. If you haven’t worked out before, talk to your health care professional to make sure you can take on a new challenge safely.
Movin‘ & Groovin’
Here are my top recommendations to break workout boredom and enjoy a summer of fun-filled fitness activities:
- Start paddling — I actually love anything with a paddle. Try kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, whitewater rafting or even surfing to shape up.
- Chase a ball - take up tennis, badminton, golf, flag football, beach volleyball, or anything else with a ball and you’re guaranteed to have fun.
- Pick up sticks — change up your walking routine with fitness poles, a great way to break the boredom and increase your cardio.
- Jump through hoops — try a pickup game of basketball or grab a hula hoop and start swiveling. I actually use one to warmup before my weightlifting workouts. I feel like I’m playing instead of warming up!
- Swing away - summertime and baseball are always a perfect fit. Grab a ball, a bat and a friend and enjoy a catch or two.
- Hang ten - with your fingers and toes by finding a rock climbing gym in the area or connect with a local outfitter and hit the cliffs.
- Climb every mountain - no matter where you live, you can always find a great trail to hike. Whether it’s a mountain slope or a winding wooded pathway, grab your hiking boots and go.
- Bounce around — Grab a pogo stick or hop on a trampoline. Both are great workouts for balance and core strength. It doesn’t hurt that they’re fun too!
- Get on a roll — from inline skating to biking, rolling around for fitness may be just the right ticket to keep you from your workout blues.
Whether dancing to the beat of your favorite band or picking up a little passion from your past, amp up the excitement of your summer with a new workout or activity. You’ll be more fit, have more fun and possibly enjoy the best summer of your life!
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“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13
Copyright © 2013 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.