The workout rut is all too familiar. We walk the treadmill while watching TV, climb the elliptical with no resistance and do sit-ups aimlessly just to convince ourselves we're exercising. Sticking to the same regimen day in and day out makes us complacent and does no favors for our muscles. Busting out of the fitness rut is the only way to kick those muscles into gear and really change and tone your body. Try one of my favorite fitness programs to spice up a boring routine and get your bodies rocking for spring:
Online personal trainers. As an avid long distance runner, I would constantly become bored following the same trails. Downloadable training programs like iTrain.com have helped me kick my running to the next level without the added cost of a real personal trainer. So how does it work? Top fitness experts design iTrain's workouts, which range from weight training to running to yoga, and customers download them. I can download workouts to my phone and follow the steps and motivational support to switch up my exercise regimen and break up my routine.
Spinning. This is a great full-body workout, but it's way to easy too cheat the resistance—something I am guilty of myself. With classes like Flywheel, you're forced to stay on track by having a specific goal to reach. The energy and camaraderie in the room is incredibly motivating and makes you want to push your body to the limit.
Ballet barre. If you want the body of a dancer but don't feel like leaving the house for class, DVDs may be your new best friends. Programs like Physique 57 have produced home workouts inspired by the ballet barre. These programs combine isometric exercises and stretches to lengthen and sculpt your muscles and make your body lean and long.
Vinyasa yoga. This method of fitness is ideal for creating a long, lean body with the added bonus of relaxation and meditation that can help you clear your busy mind. Tons of yoga classes are offered at gyms and studios, and it's also the perfect exercise to practice at home because there's little to no equipment needed. I love Power Vinyasa Yoga, which you can download on iTunes.
Once you've spiced up your exercise routine, make sure to actually follow through. Here are my fast five tips for overcoming fitness procrastination:
Get organized. Planning out a daily schedule and factoring in specific workout times will help you stay on track and organize your day.
Fitness apparel. Pick out your workout clothes the night before to ensure a speedy, stress-free morning.
Avoid the couch. The dreaded couch awaits you after a long day of work. Bringing your fitness clothes to work and going straight to the gym will eliminate any temptation.
Embrace variety. Change up your exercise routines throughout the week to work different muscle groups and reduce boredom.
Set your alarm. That electronic wake-up call for your morning workout is key, but the snooze button is way too handy. Keeping your alarm clock at a distance that requires you to get out of bed will get you moving instead of snoozing.
Hungry for more? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, concerns, and feedback.
Heather Bauer, RD, CDN , is a nationally-recognized nutrition expert, author, and entrepreneur. She is the author of two top selling books, The Wall Street Diet and Bread is the Devil. She is the founder of Nu-Train, a nutrition consulting company, and Bestowed, a subscription service that offers consumers a personalized way to discover, sample, shop, and learn about the best nutrition and lifestyle products on the market.