Sometimes I find myself in, what I like to call, a fitness rut. Not because I am too lazy or unmotivated to work out, but because sometimes I just feel like my workouts are boring.
I try my best to be extremely innovative, motivated, creative and excited about my workouts but sometimes I just find myself on the elliptical machine for 40 minutes on the same level barely breaking a sweat -- and actually being OK with that. Not cool.
With summer coming up, I have been trying to be extremely creative inside and outside of the gym.
One of the things I have been doing inside the gym is bringing a yoga mat next to my treadmill or elliptical for a kick-butt cardio session. Before you go to the gym write down a list of 10 exercises that are easily performed in a small area or on a yoga matt.
Get on the cardio machine for five minutes and then get off, getting on the mat to do one of those exercises you wrote down for one minute.
Some exercises you can try to include are jumping jacks, plank, squats, hop squats, forward punches, front kicks, burpees, switch lunges, forward stepping lunges, backward stepping lunges and wall sits.
Repeat this 6-minute pattern five to 10 times for an awesome cardio and endurance challenge. Sitting on the cardio machine repetitively is no longer an option for me, especially if I want to burn calories and torch the fat.
Don't get me wrong, there are days when I like to take it easy on a stationary bike with a book on a recovery day, but for the most part it's pedal to the metal when I work out.
As the summer months creep in, and the weather starts to warm up, early morning outdoor workouts become all too appealing. What is better than working out in the fresh air first thing in the morning?
Put together a really good upbeat play list and go for a jog or speed walk. During the verses of the songs jog or speed walk but when the chorus comes on, switch to walking lunges until the chorus is over. Repeat that for the entire song and throughout your entire play list.
You can even do push-ups or any of the previously mentioned exercises during the chorus to mix it up a little bit. The more your body switches up what it is doing, the more energy you will use.
A couple songs that I like to use for this type of interval workout is "Dance, Dance" by Fall Out Boy and "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye. Those are two very motivating songs.
The thing about exercising and living a healthy lifestyle is that you have to have your mind right to succeed. Your mind can play a lot of tricks on you and make or break your workout.
Keeping things fun in the gym and keeping my playlist filled with great workout songs helps keep me motivated and focused. Nobody is going to work out for me, nobody is going to make my body become what I want it to be or make me feel as energized as I want to. It is 100 percent up to me.
If you need a boost, try these ideas for energizing your indoor and outdoor workouts. Don't be afraid to get creative and come up with your own fun ways to climb out of a workout rut.
Feel free to share these ideas with me via e-mail or via anonymous message on my blog, www.lundenmichelle.tumblr.com.
Lunden Souza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.