How To Lose Weight: #6 Vary Your Exercise Routine

Ok, that exercising is important is obvious, I know, so I am assuming you are already exercising, but if you are not, then start. I just can’t imagine hunter and gatherer man, or even civilized man (having discovered agriculture) sitting around all day. We are meant to move, not sit around a rectangle-shaped box all day. The problem is that in our modern world it is easy to get bored with exercise, and it is difficult to stick to an intense aerobic exercise program. I know what it is like to get sick of exercising and just give up, because I have done it before.

I have found that when it comes to sticking with an exercise program, varying my routine is very, very helpful, even essential. I just cannot go to the YMCA every other day at 5:00 AM and hop on an elliptical machine for 40 minutes, repeating this endlessly for months. If you can, then God bless you, because I wish I could do that. In order to stay interested, I have to shake things up now and then. Here is what I typically do to vary my intense workouts. Note that I try to lift weights three times a week, which means I tend to set foot at the YMCA three days a week, but that doesn’t always mean I work out aerobically there that many times.

– I run inside at the YMCA, usually with music playing

– I change aforementioned songs regularly so as not to get bored (right now, Coldplay, yesterday the Killers)

– Some days, I run 2 miles, and do 20 minutes on the eliptical machine, or some sort of combo of running and eliptical machine. If need be, I run around the housing development outside the Y.

– I admit by March I am sick of the Y, and will do anything to run outside (I have run on snow before). So, when the weather is remotely nice, I run outside at a state park, bike path, flood wall, or school track.

– When I run at the school track, I run “outside” the track over the hills, basically taking the cross country route. This keeps it interesting, instead of circling a black oval for an hour.

– When I run outside, I try to take in the sights, smells, and sounds of nature, which makes the time pass more quickly. Also, studies show that exercising in fresh air is effective in combating mild depression!

– Some days I like to run alone, to gather my thoughts. Other days, chatting with a friend or family member is my preference.

– Occasionally I will use the rowing machine, or a stationary bike when at the YMCA, but often only briefly in combination with running or eliptical.

I also go hiking and walking regularly, which creates a change of scenery, but the above ideas refer to intense aerobic activity, which I find the most difficult to stay interested in. As you can tell, I like running, but honestly, I hate treadmills. The surest way for me to get bored quickly is to run on a treadmill. We are all different I suppose. What do you do to keep interested? How will you avoid the boredom?

Image 1: Local flood wall path in winter. Image 2: The Pines, a view from trail at the state park. Image 3: A downhill path at the local school track

About David Bennett

David Bennett is a teacher, writer, and speaker. His articles, about topics from weight loss to popularity, receive over a million hits per year and have appeared in many publications. He writes for The Popular Teen and other sites. Follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.