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Get Out of the Exercise Rut!

I don't know about you, but I am tired of seeing the same stinky gym and same stinky gym people 3 or more days a week. I need a change!

The problem with familiarity is that it breeds familiarity. And that's how you dig a rut.

I have been doing this for over a year, and I need a change. Here is what I am doing to keep it going.

- New Environment: I belong to 2 gyms. Winter has been mild here, but there are still the obstacles of shorter days, snow on the sidewalk, and some days it is just too freakin' cold out. I am lucky that the gym at work is $15 per month, or I wouldn't be able to do the second one. For me it's 2 evenings in one, and 2 lunch hours in the other. I try hard to do something somewhere else. I go ice skating at 2 local rinks, take outdoor walks, walk the mall, ride my bike - I need a change!

- No Routine: I took a cardio class and it is different every session. There are usually 8 exercises for 2 minutes with 15 second breaks; then we repeat that circuit twice. The class starts with a 4 minute warm up, and always ends with an ab session and stretching. My runs are pretty much the same at this point. I am just doing the mileage as I train for the March 25th 5K. I loved the intervals and will go back to that to get ready for the next race. I just have one session a week with sprints - something new!

- Music and Reading: I always have music unless I am in a class with others. I made a bunch of play lists. Some are for working out, while others are for running. I admit, some days on the treadmill I read emails, Facebook and use MFP. I am not much of a reader on my own because that is a large part of what I do all day. One gym has television sets.

Set Goals: Last year my goal was just getting a workout in 3 or 4 or 5 times a week. I didn't have a plan, or a goal. I would do a weight circuit, or run a set amount of time each day. But I didn't have a goal. This year, I have goals. I want to knock out a sanctioned 5K in less than 30 without any walking. I signed up to play hockey again. I'd like to get a few goals! I am going to ride a 25 mile benefit for cancer in July.

- Workout Buddy: This was a hard one for me. Lots of folks just want to do their thing and be left alone. I took one cardio class and no one talked to each other (might have been the gasping for air - not sure). This class has been different. In fact 5 of the 7 came from the previous class. We sort of know each other now. I also found one guy at work that will hit the treadmill with me. We listen to music, but push each other too.

Schedule It: If your workouts, walks or runs are not in the calendar, you are going to have a hard time making time. I like mornings best, but I change it up in the winter.

Food: I am shaking up the food thing too. I am going to find 30 new recipes for dinner, and I am always working on new lunches.

Clothes: I am cheap skate! I finally broke down and bought 2 pairs of new jeans that actually fit. I also bought some real running attire. The running stuff was for comfort, but it made me feel good about my progress - oh yes, and my crotch is happier than the jaybird, the lark and the clam together. And as much as it is possible, I don't look so much like a dork. Today I am going to get 2 new pairs of running shoes. I have over 700 miles on my outdoor pair, and 550 on my indoor pair.

Well, that's what I am doing to stay fresh and keep it going. How about you?

As always, thanks for the votes and comments.

49 votes + -


CRSE1214 wrote 112 months ago:
I first need to find my!!!
rascalcat8 wrote 112 months ago:
I'm with CRSE - I need to be more consistent with the exercise to actually have a rut. Since I just started recently and wasn't much of an exerciser before this, I'm taking it slow and mainly walk, both outside and on the treadmill (when it isn't trying to kill me by changing speeds on its own). However, I'm learning that a great way to fit in some mommy/daughter time is to play Wii Fit or Just Dance. Burns more calories than if i just sat there and watched her do it!
Denjo060 wrote 112 months ago:
I usually just do the elipitical and I also do Zumba 2 days a week at another gym Next week Im going to change it up by doing a pilates class on Monday night and a kick boxing class on Wednesday night. They offer both at the main gym I belong to free of charge for memebers
rinnismom wrote 112 months ago:
this is such a good idea. i didn't realize that i'm going through this very thing now. i was very consistent for a while on my strength-training and getting out in my neighborhood (even if is only 30 minutes) but now i find myself making excuses and wanting to do silly things. why load up my bike to drive 15 minutes away just to ride when i can ride in my neighborhood and it takes 1 minute to walk my bike to the gate and just go. i think this rut idea has much merit. i'm going to switch some things up and see how it goes. thanks for the great advice.
Hoppymom wrote 112 months ago:
I think I may add a hooping class.I have one in my garage and need to see if I can still make one work. If so, then I'dd join. I need the core work. Plus hoops are fun. I used to be able to do five at a time. :)
johnwhitent wrote 112 months ago:
I evolve with the seasons. Cold weather means longer strength training sessions, mountain biking, and more hikes. Warm weather brings shorter strength training workouts, more road biking, and more running. My strength training is all at home so I switch around between P90X, Supreme 90Day, and others which give variety not only in the workout but in the attitude and approach of the different trainers. This year I’m thinking of trying some kind of boot camp or similar to add some fun to the workouts. I’m always watching for something to keep me interested, challenged, and excited.
TotalTiger wrote 112 months ago:
I'm only a month into this so boredom hasn't really set in yet but a group of us stay-at-home mums have split the cost of a personal trainer once a week. We meet at a park and sets us a circuit of walking/running, squats, boxing, some pushups and theraband arm work etc and then does floor exercises as a group. It's outdoors which is nice, the kids can come along and play in the plyground and we have each other and her to push us and motivate us. And it's a darn hard workout. And it doesn't cost that much because we're splitting her hourly rate between us. It's a nice change to the gym environment.
ADM1979 wrote 112 months ago:
I don't know if I am in a rut or more of an embarrassment when I exercise. Make sense? I enjoy walking but I feel myself getting faster then I am jogging. Good so far . . .that is until I feel like eyes are on my cause body parts are moving in directions they don't typically move in then I am watching everything else and feeling stupid. This morning I felt like I was tearing my house down as I danced to a Hip Hop Exercise video I love! And no one was up but me. That is my goal. To learn to not be watching everyone else.
saphfireangel wrote 112 months ago:
Hoppymom that is a great idea I hoop and that is actually how I started exercising. I tried to find a hoop class but the closest one to me was like 20-30 mins away and with 2 kids that wasn't going to happen. I try to change my stuff up but it's hard with the kids. My workout buddy and I do everything via speakerphone. We've been trying out new workouts and so far it's going well plus I have a gym to go to where I live so I can work that in when hubby comes home.
ellie0213 wrote 112 months ago:
Agree...although I do get a kick out of the camaraderie of our early morning group at the gym.
love22step wrote 112 months ago:
It's said that variety is the spice of life. I love variety. I think that's what made me a perfect fit for military life. My understanding is that your body likes it when you mix your exercises up, too. Go for it! A couple of exercises I enjoyed in my service years, and wish they were available to me now, were tennis and racquetball. Keep it fun, and you'll be more likely to keep it up!
aprilbaby85 wrote 112 months ago:
In the mood to just work out at home? Try Dance Central on XBOX 360 (or possibly other systems) or take a walk during the day to somewhere in town, if you live near town or whereever else you please. Thats what I do. I also, on Mondays and Wednesdays, go to ZUMBA! I love it! It makes me sweat and have fun. I'm so serious! If you do the moves correctly and learn them (and it took me about 5 classes to learn HA) it is a blast!!! You can lose up to 1300 calories a class (doing it right). But even doing 600 cals (what I burned my first day) is still great and better than nothing. The class that I go to here is by donation, so check around town and find one that is affordable. This is my way of staying out of the "rut". :) Every class is different and so much fun and I honestly burn more there two days a week than going to the gym... And I save more - just sayin. :)
MrsSassyPants wrote 112 months ago:
I love to ride my bike! When I start keeping up with cars I get pretty excited! Varying my route and routine keep it interesting. Interval sprints versus endurance rides, hills and outright sprints till I can't take it any more keep it interesting. I will add swimming to my routine this summer. I ride my bike to the pool and swim with my daughters. That's always nice!

I went to costco yesterday and bought some *new to me* organic foods. Reading the top healthy foods list has helped change the way I eat. Also looking at friends diaries has helped me make new choices to my menu.

Getting in a rut is a very good catalyst for change. When I get there I hope to recognize it and make the changes necessary to keep it fresh and stick with the program. Goals are a little harder for me as I tend to just keep pushing till I can do more more, more!

With age comes injury. I have carpal tunnel in both wrists and now plantar in both heels. So impact classes are out for now along with running or walking. I am going to attempt some weight training in the future. Swimming and biking work well and I love both!

Great blog! Keep it fresh.

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