It’s been a long couple of years, and if you’re like most Americans, you might have lost a little muscle mass while sitting on that couch, streaming television and waiting for the world to reopen. But, after so much boredom, it can be extra complex to try to get yourself motivated to be able to concentrate and increase your activity level. What sorts of things can you do to spice up your home workout (or create one) in order to make sure you can keep moving and increase your strength?

Try a New Style

The best type of exercise for your body is, not unsurprisingly, one that you will do! This means that if you think only aerobics, or only yoga, or only jogging is the right exercise for you, and that type of exercise is less appealing, then you won’t do it. (Chances are, you already know what you don’t like!) But, if instead you choose to do thirty minutes of exercise, three times a week, you’re doing great! Recent studies have shown that doing more isn’t necessary for heart health, though you can do more if you like! If you find yourself getting bored of what you are doing, it is the perfect time to try something new. Studies have actually shown you get better results if you don’t do the same thing every time.

Find a New Workout Buddy

Sometimes, being motivated by yourself feels impossible. If you are looking for that extra kick in your workout, try including a workout buddy. This could be as simple as bringing your dog on a run, doing a quick partner stretch with a friend, or starting a small walking group. Having a workout buddy helps you with accountability and they also push you to work your hardest. You can also join a gym class virtually. There’s no shortage of styles available, and working out with people, even virtually, is always a mood boost.

Switch Up the Location

Having only one place to do your exercise can make things monotonous. As with other activities, finding other locations can make exercise fun and new. If you have the space, your deck can provide the perfect area for your workout. Going to the park, or even to a friend’s house to do your workout is awesome as well and provides company along the way. If you love walking, try a similarly structured hike in a national park for the benefit of Vitamin D and fresh air while you walk!

Shop it Out

If you’re a shopping warrior, but not really feeling like mall-walking, run to your favorite grocery store and do a brisk shop!  Shopping can burn 175 calories an hour! Adding in shopping with a child…well, it’s not exponentially more, but you know it adds a little light lifting into the mix. Doing an hour of housework burns 191 calories. Is it perfect? No. Does exercise have to be perfect to count as exercise? Also, no! Thinking outside of the box can help you get those extra thirty-minute segments into the mix and get you away from a perfectionist mindset. If you’re particularly busy, realizing that things like your shopping and housework do help you get in cardio exercise can be helpful, and you can focus on a single, more aerobic routine for strengthening your body.

Play Games

There are numerous games which, like Pokemon Go, have gotten individuals to walk around their neighborhoods in the sunlight. Others, like geocaching, can get you walking into nature reserves and parks in search of tiny treasure. Find something that you enjoy which can help you get away from the mindset that exercise needs to be monotonous and un-fun. Instead, join a “gym,” or download a geocaching app. Find a local app which details historic monuments. Join a group going foraging and learning to identify plants on a hike. Tell your brain that it’s a fieldtrip, and therefore fun!

Be Juvenile

Remember when you used to love playing Four Square on the elementary school playground? Or tag, frisbee, or just zooming around after your pet? Yes, gravity does have more pull on your adult self, but that doesn’t mean that similar games can’t still be a delight to play! Whether you’re playing with your children or with like-minded friends, switching up activities and games can be a great way to get exercise into your daily routine. As a bonus, both you and all family members will truly enjoy the great sleep you get at night.

Watch TV

Yes, that’s what you’ve already been doing, but this time, with a purpose. There are multitudes of various exercise options online for your viewing pleasure. Whether that means dance classes, or aerobics, or even the videos from those fancy stationary bikes everybody is watching (which are free to use with your less fancy bike, online), your television can be a powerful tool for your exercise regime. If you want to exercise in thirty-minute increments, a half hour program is perfect to time yourself walking on a treadmill or using your recumbent bike. If yoga is more your speed, but you’re worried about a higher-level routine, there are options for those who are beginning, and those with disabilities of varying types. Your body can begin with whatever type or style you like or change every day of the week!

Switching up your boring exercise routine can bring more benefits than just a more strong and healthy body as well. If you’re going outside and getting both sunlight and Vitamin D, this increases your body’s immunity and also your ability to be alert and awake during the rest of your day. Your body resets to the diurnal calendar- knowing that at dusk, it should begin to feel sleepy- and can help you to get better rest at night. All of these things can help you to manage that stress more effectively, and for your body to feel less overwhelmed. In a complicated world where pandemic is the new normal, it’s important to both boost immunity and also your spirits!

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