Adding different ways to shake up your workout keeps things interesting and is a great way to stay active on the days when you don't run. Here's a quick guide to mixing it up!
Try a new machine
If you find yourself migrating to the same machines every time you hit the gym, then it's time to try a new one. If you’re a fan of the treadmill, then why not give the cross trainer a go? If you like exercise bikes, give a rowing machine a shot. If you're unsure how to use a new machine just ask a member of your gym's staff.
Balance your workout
If your workout tends to lean predominantly toward cardio then you should add some strength training into the mix. Studies have shown just how beneficial strength training can be for our health – from helping prevent diabetes, to managing pain and strengthening bones – and the NHS even advises that we should do strength training at least twice a week1. So not only will you be bettering yourself, but the new activities will help keep your workouts fresh.
High Intensity Interval Training is said to be one of the best ways to maximise your workout, helping you burn more calories and fat than traditional cardio, and in less time. It involves short bursts of high intensity exercise, followed by slower recovery or rest periods. Intervals can be quick, in the seconds, such as 10 seconds at high intensity followed by 20 at low intensity, or longer such as 1 minute high intensity and 2 minutes low. Even better, you can do it anywhere – whether you're on the cross trainer at the gym, or running outside – and apply it to a variety of workouts (running, cycling, jumping rope, strength exercises).
Take a class
From Zumba to Tabata, Yoga to Insanity, there’s a class for everyone. If you're keen on solo workouts then this could be a great opportunity to try something different while meeting new people. And if you're feeling a little adventurous you could try something a bit crazy and different, like Aqua Spinning.
Get new gear
You know that excellent feeling you get when you’re wearing a new outfit that makes you feel great and confident? Why not bring that feeling along on your workout. Just because you're planning to get good and sweaty, it doesn't mean you have to relegate yourself to old jogging bottoms and baggy t-shirts. Get yourself some new gear that will make you feel great and inspire you to work harder.
Use a tracker
By investing in a fitness tracker, or by using your smartphone, you'll add a new dimension to your workout as you'll be able to track things such as your heart rate, steps taken, calories burned and distance travelled, to name a few. This will give you better insight into how you are performing, and will hopefully give you the inspiration you need to keep going and going!