You know you should exercise more.  But the gym is so dull, right?  Pounding on the treadmill for half an hour, maybe do some reps on the strength machines?  Same routine each week.

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Bo-ring.

Here are some tips to keep it interesting.

1. Mix it up

We all know the saying.  Variety is the spice of life.  It’s clichéd because it’s true.

Change up your routine.  Don’t just go to the gym and run the treadmill.  Go outside and run through the woods.  If you run outside, don’t run the same route each time.  Maybe you prefer the spin class?  Go for a cycle instead.

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Instead of weights in the gym, try taking your two-year-old to the park and throwing them around a bit.  They’ll love the attention and your arms will get their workout.

If you like aerobics, or yoga, or boxercise or any of the other classes that are around, have a look around and see what else you can try.  Experiment a little – you never know what you might find.

Sure, it takes a little bit of brain power to figure out all the options, but that might not be such a bad thing.

2. Get your mind involved

The eastern philosophies all agree on this one – the mind and body are inextricably linked.  You can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mind, and you can’t have a healthy mind without a healthy body.

Find an exercise that stimulates your brain.

  • Running in a straight line is easy.  Try parkour.
  • Find an exercise that teaches you a skill – a martial art or a complex dance style, perhaps.
  • Run up a mountain (you’ll need to read a map to know where you’re going).

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I challenge you to think of your own ideas – leave them in the comments below!

3. Make it social

If you’re doing hardcore aerobic exercise, you won’t be able to talk, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great to have a friend.  Friends are invaluable for motivation and encouragement.  Seeing your friend sweating and groaning will make you feel better about how hard you’re finding it.

Don’t be afraid to show your effort either, because the same is true in reverse and you’ll be encouraging your friend.

Of course, not all exercise is hard aerobics.  If you’re learning a new skill, you and your friend can improve together, helping each other.  If you’re doing weights, your friend can offer encouragement and help set you up, and you can do the same for them.

And finally, shared effort demands shared rewards – a good excuse for a trip to the pub or your favourite coffee shop to have a chat!

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In keeping with point number three – if you enjoyed these tips, please share them with your friends!

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