The only thing harder than starting a regular exercise program is sticking to it, once the newness wears off. Embarking on the initial change can be quite invigorating. It’s exciting because it’s different from your normal routine, and empowering because you know you’ve made a healthy lifestyle choice. Unfortunately, time has way of dulling the shiny finish on things and before you know it, your upcoming workouts are met with lack-luster enthusiasm.
Getting bored with your workouts is an age old problem and the typical solution offered is to “change things up.” And yes, change is good, but FUN is even better!
If you want to stick to your physical activity plan and help others adhere to theirs, put some fun into your workouts. Here are some of my favorite things to do for my boot camp classes and even when I’m working out at home:
- Random Ball. Get yourself 2 inflatable beach balls. On the first ball, use a black Sharpie pen to write the names of 15-20 different exercises. Examples- Push Ups, Burpees, V-Sit Ups, Squat Jumps, Heisman. On the other ball, write numbers, such as 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, to represent the number of repetitions or seconds for performing an exercise. Now toss the balls around the group. The people who catch the ball simply lift their right hand and the exercise/number revealed (or closest to their right hand) is the one the group performs. Continue to hit the ball in the air for someone else to catch.
- In the Cards. Similar to Random Ball, but use a shuffled deck of cards. Each person draws a card. Designate 4 exercises in advance for each suit. Use the card value as your reps, making face cards equal to 20.
- Tug-o-War and Relays. That’s right. Good ol’ fashioned playground competitions. Battle ropes are perhaps best for the tug-o-war, but I expect a good substitute could be found in your garage. And relay races can take as many forms as the imagination can bring. Engage class participants in the decision – let them decide!
Fighting workout routine boredom is a critical component of exercise adherence. Adding a dimension of fun, using simple, inexpensive props can easily reinvent familiar exercises that keep you (and your class) coming back for more!