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6 Ways to Snap Out of an Exercise Rut

Posted 1/5/2015 by UHBlog

If persistent aches and pains are interfering with your normal exercise routine, see your doctor.

6 Ways to Snap Out of an Exercise Rut

You look for excuses to skip your exercise routine, you’re bored to tears by your workout and you grit your teeth to just get through it. No doubt about it, you’re in an exercise rut.

Sports medicine specialist Robert Truax, DO shares six ways to break free, find inspiration and take your fitness to the next level:

  1. Get a workout buddy. Two heads are better than one when it comes to cooking up new physical challenges that keep you interested in and excited about working out. Plus, having someone waiting at the gym – or on the sidewalk – helps get you out the door. “Having a fitness buddy keeps you accountable,” says Dr. Truax.
  2. Try interval or high intensity training. This type of fitness has been shown to increase your fitness in a shorter amount of time than conventional exercise. It involves alternating between steady, sustained movements and more intense bursts of activity. To try it, Dr. Truax suggests, head out for your regular walk or run, but pick up the pace for 30 seconds. Then drop back to a steady rhythm. Switch speeds throughout your workout. “Or you can find a hill, walk up it for your high intensity training, then walk back down while you’re recovering,” he says.
  3. Try something new. Shake things up by trying a new sport – or just different machines at the gym. Play a pick-up basketball game or sample a yoga or Pilates class to boost other aspects of fitness, such as flexibility.
  4. Create new goals. Is running fives miles a breeze? Shoot for a longer route or find a new target for your efforts, such as aiming to run your first race.
  5. Keep an exercise log. “A journal is always helpful to track progress towards goals, whether it’s time or distance,” says Dr. Truax. Each day you record your milestones, you’re motivated to achieve more.
  6. Hire a trainer. An exercise professional can help you design an engaging workout that’s both challenging and realistic. “A trainer provides encouragement and guidance towards setting appropriate goals, lifting you out of the deepest exercise rut,” says Dr. Truax.

Robert Truax, DO is a primary care sports medicine specialist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. You can request an appointment with Dr. Truax or any other doctor online.

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