As the season of fall welcomes possibly the most natural time of transition with the leaves turning various colors and the weather cooling off, you might be contemplating making changes to your own life. When it comes to routine exercise, it’s so easy to often find yourself falling into a rut. If you’re looking to upgrade your workout routine for the better, don’t miss these 6 must-try ideas:
So many fitness injuries occur simply from overuse and for athletes like long distance runners, cross-training couldn’t be more important. Dedicating one or two days of a weekly workout routine to trying a sport or activity different from your typical one can not only give stressed joints, like the knees, a break, but help you keep other key muscle groups you don’t normally use strong and flexible. Runners might try cycling, swimming, rollerblading, hiking, yoga, or even dancing as a potential cross-training activity. Who knows, you might uncover a passion for something new!
Take It Outside
Tired of staring at the same TV in your gym every morning on the treadmill? Take your workout outside into the fresh air and beautiful surroundings to re-energize your exercises and even give your mental health a boost. Walking outside has been shown to decrease feelings of brooding and boost attentiveness as well as help fight anxiety and feels of stress. Plus the fresh air can be good for the lungs, and as the temperatures of fall start to drop, the outdoors will offer a cool, crisp respite from a stuffy gym.
Invite a Friend
Looking for more motivation to hit the gym? Try being accountable to someone other than yourself! Scheduling fitness dates with a friend is a great way to incorporate emotionally-boosting social interaction with exercise that benefits for your physical health. A friend may also be just the encouragement you need to try that new Pure Barre class you’ve been eyeing. Make it a regular thing by scheduling weekly or monthly fitness dates, and give yourself something to look forward to when it comes to working out.
Tackle Common Pains
Has sharp foot pain sidelined you from your weekly runs? Are you skipping office pick-up games of basketball because of an aching knee? Don’t let common fitness pains keep you from getting the exercise you need to feel well and manage a healthy weight. Prioritize your own health by finally addressing soreness and pain that is holding you back. That might include seeing a doctor or sports medicine specialist, or investing in an orthotic aid to help compress and stabilize an achy joint, like running shoe insoles or the best knee sleeve for basketball, for example.
Go to a New Class
There’s a reason the saying goes “variety is the spice of life.” When it comes to upgrading the workout routine you’ve been completing the same way day in and day out for years, variety might just be the solution. Even if you’re into yoga, for example, did you know that there are over 20 different styles to try, many of which very greatly from the other? Or if you love mountain biking, consider trying a spinning class like SoulCycle. Boutique studios and gyms are offering more classes than ever – find one that fits your interests and schedule with services like ClassPass or CourseHorse.
Be Smart About Recovery
Looking to boost muscle gains or tone? The smarter you are about what you do after your workout, the more benefit you’ll see in the mirror. A moderate to high intensity workout does wonders for shredding muscles so they can repair and rebuild themselves bigger and stronger, but did you know that you can support that recovery period with what you eat and drink? Following a workout with fast-acting carbohydrates, proteins, water, and electrolytes will fuel the cells which go about repairing muscle tissue. Think lean meats, Greek yogurt, whole grains, bananas, sweet potato, avocado, milk, and nuts as good starters for a revamped post-workout menu.