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Monday Mom challenge: Shake up your exercise routine

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

Different can make it better

The idea of getting on the elliptical fills you with, "Ugh." You need a break from warrior three, no matter how pretty and easy you make it look. Your overall fitness has stagnated. When your time to exercise is limited to begin with (to your child’s afternoon nap time!) you’ve got to like, if not love, what you do. It’s time to shake up your exercise routine.

woman-with-new-exercise-routine


Have you ever heard the phrase, "If you're not doing something different, you're not doing anything?" As much as you love your exercise routine, you can get into a rut, and your overall fitness can reach a very frustrating plateau. A specific exercise may have worked for you -- and perhaps it did for a very long time -- but it just doesn't anymore. It's time to shake up your exercise routine. It's time for something new, something different to keep you exercise-engaged -- and maybe a fitter you, too.

1Simple changes

Sometimes shaking up your exercise routine is as simple as mapping out a new route for your daily run, treating yourself to a cute new exercise top or finding new energy bars for post-exercise treats. Try setting some goals for your exercise beyond what you've been doing -- another half mile, five more reps or 10 more minutes. Is there a special anniversary coming up? Maybe an opportunity to wear that amazing strapless dress you so love? Set a goal, make a simple change and you may find renewed affection for your workout.

2Gyms

If you exercise at home, it might be time to try a gym. Look for local gyms with one-month trials (and understand completed terms!) and give it a try. They have more equipment than can fit in your entire house and likely have trainers on hand to help your target those weak spots. Look for gyms with convenient locations and extended hours -- and childcare.

If you already workout at a gym, why not try a different gym for a month with one of those trial offers. Just the change of scenery-- even if the workout itself is essentially the same -- can bring a new spring to your step.

3Friends

Working out alone day after day, week after week takes tremendous self-motivation. Yay for you! But take some of the pressure off and introduce some fun by starting to work out with a friend or neighbor. That friend who has the amazing calves is someone you likely can learn an exercise or two from -- and I bet she wants your tips for those rockin' biceps on you. Sharing exercise is not only a great way to keep your exercise routine interesting, but you can also share a sitter to look after your kids while you two go sweat.

4DVDs

Late night infomercials may be famous for overstating results and making a routine seem too good to be true, but that doesn't mean they don't work at all. If you see something that piques your interest, do a little online research before you invest in the DVDs. You might be surprised at what you can achieve using DVDs.

Many DVD-based exercise programs also have online communities associated with them that can help keep you motivated through the routines. You may make some new online friends along with a discovering that some of those spokesperson's claims really do have some merit; even if your butt doesn't quite match the model's it does look better.

With the limited time a mom has to take care of herself, making the most of that time is key. Shaking up the exercise routine can help keep your overall fitness goals on track -- and keep you the healthy and energetic mom your kids need you to be.

 

More on exercising

5 Fitness tips for new moms
Spring and summer fitness: Exercising in the heat
5 Exercises to improve heart health

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