How to Enjoy Working Out: 7 Ways To Beat Exercise Boredom
If you’ve ever felt bored mid-workout (or even just thinking about exercising), you’re definitely not alone. We’ve all been there! Sometimes no matter how much you mix up your exercise routine, some days it can feel harder to enjoy moving your body than others.
Following the pandemic and some challenging years, it’s not surprising if you’re struggling with motivation or energy at times. Seriously, if you’ve kept up any sort of exercise routine over the past few years, you already deserve a medal!
The ongoing challenges of lockdowns, illness, being apart from friends and family, experiencing personal loss, or feeling the crunch financially can take its toll and leave you feeling fatigued. This can show up as emotional lows, anxiety, lack of motivation, physical symptoms such as tiredness, headaches or reduced appetite, or even difficulties getting your work done.
If this sounds like you, it’s often best to take the pressure off working out and focus on getting enough rest, while taking care of your body and mind as much as you can with healthy foods and restorative forms of movement that energise you.
During other stages of your life or fitness journey, it’s perfectly normal to experience workout boredom in the exact same way you might get sick of eating the same dinner every night. In fact, The Heart Foundation lists boredom and a lack of fun as one of the top reasons people don’t exercise. It’s not something to beat yourself up about but the key is knowing what to do about it.
Exercise should be a way to honour and celebrate your body - something that leaves you feeling energised and alive. If it has become something you dread or it feels like a chore, it’s time to shake things up!
Discover how to enjoy working out with our top boredom-busting tips
1. Switch up your environment
One of the easiest ways to add some variety to your routine is to change where you exercise. If you’re used to working out in your lounge room or garage, try setting up outside.
If you’re a gym-goer, try a different area or a new machine. Simply changing your surroundings can go a long way towards making your routine feel new and exciting again.
Remember, living an active lifestyle is about so much more than your workouts. Use movement as a way to explore your city or neighbourhood on foot, by bike, or head to a beach, pool or lake and enjoy the water - you’ll reap the benefits of spending time in nature while you’re at it!
2. Change up your schedule
Everyone’s calendar looks different, but if your schedule allows for some flexibility, try working out at a different time of day.
Although getting into a consistent routine is a great way to hardwire healthy habits, research shows that novelty and new experiences can activate the “pleasure centres” of the brain and cause a rush of the feel-good chemical, dopamine.
Similar to changing your environment, mixing up your routine can help create that sense of novelty and keep you interested in working out. If you’re going to a gym at a different time, you’re also bound to see a different bunch of faces. Who knows, you might even find a new workout buddy!
3. Think back to your childhood
When you were younger, staying active was probably second nature and just part of having fun! Cast your mind back to when you were a child or teenager, and think about the activities you did for fun - the ones where you completely lost track of time. Perhaps it was dance classes, playing in a sports team, rollerblading, kicking a ball, swimming, or riding your bike.
You can either try those activities again, or try to channel that child-like sense of play into your current routine. If you have young kids, try the monkey bars next time you’re at the playground!
4. Try something totally new
It’s natural for your brain to crave new, more interesting stimuli, and trying a different training style can be incredibly refreshing or push you out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to experiment and be a beginner again.
If you’re already doing a program in the Sweat app, you can change it at any time by tapping on the avatar icon in the top right corner. You can also add some variety to your week by picking something new from the On Demand tab. Not sure where to start? Try one of these 10 quick workouts the Sweat Community loves.
5. Set a new goal
Sometimes the reason for workout boredom is a lack of challenge or clear direction. It’s hard to feel excited and engaged when you can’t even remember why you’re doing it! Perhaps you’ve been doing the same program for a while, your workouts are starting to feel easy, you’ve achieved the goals you set or you’ve reached a fitness plateau.
First off, that’s great! You should feel proud of your progress and commitment. To continue to push yourself, it’s time to set a new goal that feels challenging and exciting.
This could be completing a brand new program, mastering a new move like an unassisted pull-up, a longer plank hold, a new number of burpees in 60 seconds, improved flexibility, or hitting a new personal best on your weighted back squat. Having something to aim towards can give you a new burst of motivation.
If you thrive on deadlines and want to be held accountable to your goals, you could even sign up for a cycling or running race, or complete a fitness challenge!
6. Make it social
We are social creatures by nature, and having a workout buddy can help to take the fun of working out from zero to 100 in a flash. Start by asking your friends, family or colleagues if they would be keen to join you, mention it on social media, or put the feelers out to the amazing Sweat Community.
If your workout buddy doesn’t live nearby, you can still Sweat together via a video call, or if your schedules don’t align, offering support, encouragement and accountability can work wonders!
7. Make a new playlist
There’s nothing like an old playlist to quickly kill your workout motivation and make every drop of sweat feel like a drag. Take some time to put together the perfect playlist for you by choosing tracks that energise you, match the energy of your workout, or have a similar tempo to your movements.
You can easily select your own playlists through the Sweat app so you don’t miss a beat.
"When I get bored, I find small ways to switch up my routine - whether that be listening to new music, working out in a new location, inviting a friend to join me (virtually or in person) or trying a new kind of workout all together. I always encourage people to be creative with their workouts to keep it interesting,” says barre trainer Britany Williams.
“While we Sweat Trainers have put together varied workout plans, that doesn’t mean that some days you can’t throw some spice in yourself. Make the squats a squat jump or do sprints outside between sets or my personal favoruite - put on your favourite music and have a personal dance party during the 60-second rest between exercises! If your workout isn’t fun, it's not the right workout!"
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.