When it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices, workout boredom is often considered to be dietary Kryptonite. But instead of stopping you in your tracks, it slowly encroaches from behind, causing you to skip one workout, then another, then another. Eventually, you’ve found yourself back to your pre-healthy lifestyle tradition of hitting the couch after work instead of the gym.
The cure for exercise boredom is to find new workouts that both challenge your body and keep you motivated. These days, there are a myriad of boutique workout facilities that can provide you with whatever workout suits your personal style, from Zumba to Pilates to Spinning to kickboxing. But the trick is to know which ones are right for you.
What Are You Into?
The best way to discover which types of workouts you’ll like is to think about the variety of activities you enjoy. If you love dancing but you’re a bit bored with Zumba, you might try Cardio Barre or even a daring pole-dancing class. If you’re more into weight training, then perhaps boot camp classes or CrossFit gyms are right for you. The more you enjoy your workout, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Consider the Cost
Your basic no-frills health club membership can run you about $40/month, while the boutique workout experience goes for about $15/class. Purchasing boutique classes in bulk will drive down the per-class cost, but if you’re going to work out most days of the week, the cost still might be much higher than a gym membership. That’s why crunching the numbers is vitally important. If you’ve found a boutique club that you really like, you might find it beneficial to keep your gym membership and only attend boutique classes a few times per month.
Ty Vincent, owner of CrossFit Sunset in Los Angeles, recommends finding a studio that offers more than one type of workout in order to save money. “You can find a facility that has two closely related disciplines included in one membership, like a Pilates and yoga studio,” says Vincent. “Or you can switch your workouts on and off. “Do Spin for a month, then boot camp.”
And don’t forget about the one, the only, no-cost workout option – exercising outdoors. Weather permitting, you may find that the fresh air and natural surroundings of local walking, hiking and biking trails may be just the thing to banish workout boredom.
Do Your Research
Friends and family will often be your best resource when it comes to finding a new workout. Hit up your network via social media and simply post the question, “Bored with my regular (yoga/Pilates/Zumba/boot camp) classes. Looking for a new workout. Any suggestions?” Don’t be surprised if you get flooded with recommendations to try local workouts from new studios and gyms that you didn’t even know existed.
Once you’ve got recommendations from friends, it’s always a good idea to turn to the Internet. Check the facility’s website to get a feel for the type of environment you might be getting yourself into. And then, of course, there’s Yelp.com. There’s no reason to be thrown off by one or two bad reviews, but if the majority of them are begging the public to steer clear…then you probably should.
Take a Trial Class
Great recommendations and reviews aside, avoid purchasing classes in bulk until you’ve taken a one-time trial class. It’s the best, low-risk way to find out if the classes are truly right for you. “Most of Amenzone Fitness’ long-time members came to us on a drop-in trial class,” says Amen Iseghohi, founder of Amenzone Fitness. Patrons of the Amenzone work out, tone, and shape their bodies by using only their own body weight and clean tires. “They were attracted to…the unique concept of getting fit with a tire and the camaraderie amongst the clients.” So, after your trial, if you decide that you like the class, the vibe, and the people, then feel free to jump in.
Keep Changing It Up
Not only does changing up your workout routine fight off boredom, but it’s also a good way to keep your body in peak shape. “Changing your workout occasionally is important because your body becomes stagnant,” continues Vincent. “The human body adapts remarkably well.” He adds that muscle gain and weight-loss will begin to table if you keep sticking to the same exercise routine. And since your goal is to maintain a high level of physical fitness for the rest of your life, part of your fitness journey should always involve finding the next great workout.
So keep your eyes and ears open for fitness opportunities that you may not have considered before. “Taking up a new challenge, like a workout that’s a bit outside your routine, can be exciting and stimulating,” continues Vincent. “And ultimately, rewarding.”
By Dana Robinson