5 Unconventional Ways to Enhance Your Workout Routine

Doing the same workout day in and day out can get monotonous. There are times when we just need to change things up and do something different. However, simply switching up your running route or the order in which you do things just doesn't seem like enough. Why not look for ways to truly freshen things up?

I'm not talking about reshuffling. I'm talking about the ways we can truly make our workout routine exciting again. These are the ways we can break conventions, think outside the box, and approach exercise in new ways. Shake things up and get excited about your fitness journey again with these five methods.


5 Surprising Methods to Spice Up Your Workout

1) Get man's best running partner.

You might already have one and may have been leaving them out this whole time. Depending on the breed, a dog can be an excellent running companion. Your furry friend can offer a change of pace from running with other people, especially if you find running with friends difficult to coordinate or an exercise in frustration. It's an opportunity to train and bond with your beloved pet, not to mention have a companion to run with.

Most dogs have an enormous amount of energy and stamina for running so you may find yourself more challenged to push than ever!

2) Have a workout snack.

What's a workout snack? I'm not talking about trail mix. Recent studies looked at the benefit of small, short intervals of exercise throughout the day for sedentary individuals, such as a few minutes of climbing the stairs during the day, several times a day, combined with warm-up exercises. As a result, the group that performed these workout “snacks” throughout the day displayed more fitness and greater stamina than a sedentary control group.

For fit individuals, workout snacks alone won't do much. However, combined with a regular routine, peppering in these moments throughout your day can help maintain and enhance fitness. Think of it as a challenge. How many times can I fit in extra exercise today? Take the stairs, park farther away from entrances, and do squats while you watch television. You might be surprised by how many "snack breaks" you can take.

3) Make it competitive.

Fitness technology gets more advanced every year. With smartphones, FitBits, and like technology, it's easier than ever to connect with other runners and fitness buffs around the world. So take advantage of it. One of the best features I've found is the ability to take part in goal-based competitions. Whether you're trying to lose more pounds, take more steps, or beat the best times, why not compete against friends, family, and strangers?

If you have the technology, make a game out of your daily exercise routine. Challenge yourself, either with friends from afar or with those you share your routine with.

4) Set a new purpose.

You can also enhance your fitness simply by changing how you think. If you have a far-off, distant goal, maybe you just need a day of thinking more immediately. Think about the fact that, today, you just want to leave feeling amazing about yourself and what you have accomplished. Maybe you don't want to get caught up in times and the big-picture goals. Be radical. Just let your exercise make you feel good in the moment. Let that be your purpose for the day.

5) Sign up for a new class.

Signing up for a new fitness class doesn't seem all that unconventional until we think about just how few of us do it once we're set in our ways. We know what we're doing, we know what we like, and we are not about to change it. If you're in a fitness rut, though, why not? Most gyms offer free classes to their members and these classes provide not only opportunities to meet new people, but a chance to learn new techniques, improve your form, work new muscles, and have fun.

Even if you end up not liking it, it will be a new experience and a break from the monotonous. Give a new class a chance—you might find a new sport or exercise technique to love.

What tricks have you employed to break out of your exercise slump? Share your best tactics in the comments.