Seriously…you are taking this stuff waaaaaayyyy to seriously. Lighten up, people!
Lately, I run into people and we explore the topic of fitness. Inevitably, it follows that I listen to a crazy and regimented routine that makes me not only want to run mad, but slap the silly…um…into them. Literally. Like throw water balloons at them while they complete their obligatory 5 sets of15 with the 20lb weights EVERY DAY! Hmmm….what a thought!
You don’t have to think about fitness like it is a mathematical formula or a morning routine (do everything the same and in the same order). For example, I hear about people who count every single rep. I can see them thinking, “If I do x number of reps multiplied by y sets for z days, I will have w pecs of steel.” Or, if “I run x miles, y days a week, I will…um…be a good ‘a’ runner.” Likewise, I often observe that people follow a same old, same old routine. Cardio, Strength, Stretch…on the same machines…Like, EVERY DAY! Not only does this make you bored, but it actually bores your body as well.
Lighten up! Have some fun with your fitness!!!!! Here are some ways to shake up that boring old routine.
1) Stop counting reps, for at least one day. Yeah, you heard me! Don’t keep your face like that or it will freeze that way. Don’t count the reps and sets. Go until you are maxed out. If it feels like forever until you max, then go up a few pounds. Worry less about how many reps, and think about how that weight feels. If it is too light, you need to add weight and go to muscle exhaustion. Plain and simple. Believe it or not, but your body doesn’t care if you do 37 reps. The only person who cares is you and your own rear-end retentiveness.
2) Mix up cardio and strength like a preschooler! Have you noticed that our little kids play like little random robots? Follow their lead! Dance between biceps curls. Do a few jumping jacks between squats. Run around the track and then do some walking lunges. Just like little kids, focus less on your goal and more on being childlike. Make yourself keep guessing what you might do next!!! As an added bonus, if you mix up intervals of strength and cardio, you could burn an extra 200 calories (and perhaps not fall asleep on a treadmill.)
3) Take a class. This doesn’t even have to be a fitness class. Try a new experience. Maybe learn salsa dancing or rock climbing. If you are a dancing queen, try some high intensity intervals. Are you a power lifter? Try a yoga class. Not only will you reenergize yourself physically, but mentally as well. Bring an open mind and a sense of humor with you, even if you aren’t naturally good at this new class. (For example, I am the WORST pole dancer ever. That’s okay. I tried.)
4) Stop over analyzing and stop ‘overdoing’ it all the time. In fact, just stop over-thinking your workout. It doesn’t always have to be brutal. In fact, some days can be a light walk or a conga line. Leave the others to their daily rigorous bootcamp. Go by how you feel and remember that consistency is way more important than the mode. You don’t have to be miserable and unhappy in your workout!!!
5) Change Location, change of pace: Take it to the gym, or take it home. Take it to the yard. Just move yourself into a new environment for a workout. When you always do your workouts in the same place, it is hard to ‘sillify’ your calorie burn. Plus, if you move it outside, you run the risk that you burn more calories! Come fun, come all!
6) Please…smile?? I can’t stand this lack of sense of humor that is so commonplace in the gym. Even trainers can look…mean (sometimes). So serious, so focused…it’s soooo annoying. If I can be in shape and laugh while my thighs are burning, why can’t anyone else? Yes, it is hard to talk when you are working at max, however, you can take this stuff less seriously for the other 23 hours that day. Have a sense of humor…puh…lease? This isn’t rebuilding a jet engine and all of its teeny plane parts. It is simply exerting yourself and moving on.
7) Put a song on it. I make a personalized play list for each of my clients for every single workout. Why? Because people get lost in the music and enjoy their workout. It feels somehow “new again,” with a different playlist. In fact, most clients push themselves harder. Fun and functional can coexist. Really!
Just relax and lighten up…Reality check: You are just exercising.