This ain’t the 80s, people. You wouldn’t even think about breaking out a neon sweatband and matching Reeboks. Similarly, you’re probably not heading to 6 a.m. Jazzercise or sweating it out to Richard Simmons.
So why confine yourself to other tired types of exercise either? It’s a brave new world, and there are plenty of ways to get that heart rate up without getting bored, which is more likely to lead to blowing off your exercise commitments. Instead of getting stuck in the same routines, try mixing it up and working out in ways that stimulate both body and mind.
Today, we’re talking Hot and Not, giving you plenty of ideas for replacing snooze-fest workouts with ones that actually work with an on-the-go lifestyle.
The problem with formal aerobics classes is that, while they do burn calories and help you work up a sweat, they’re typically not tailored to your specific body type or even particularly aligned with science. Instead, they just keep you moving for an hour and then release you into the world, without targeting the specific muscle groups you’ve gotta work to get strong (and prevent injury, by the way).
Instead, try the 7-Minute Workout, a scientifically formulated routine “which essentially combines a long run and a visit to the weight room into about seven minutes of steady discomfort,” according to the New York Times. Instead of spending hours in the gym or at the track, science says you can now tone your body in seven intensive minutes at home, then move on with your day.
Don’t get us wrong; there’s nothing inherently wrong with climbing on a treadmill and getting in a good workout. It’s waaaaaaaay better than nothing, but when you stick to steady-state cardio, your body tends to plateau pretty quickly.
Instead, try heading out into the world and enjoying the best the city has to offer in terms of HIIT challenges. High-intensity interval training, in which you alternate periods of heavy effort with stretches of easier work, helps you burn more calories and tricks your body into experience a much more intense workout.
Yoga classes can be crowded, far away and not ideal for your body. In fact, yoga leads to injury as often as much more physical sports, because you’re so likely to hyperextend.
Instead, try a more relaxed version. Yoga with Adriene is so hot right now, and not because the YouTube superstar is nice to look at (although she is). The major draw of Adriene’s extended series of free yoga videos is the fact that she believes so wholeheartedly in molding your yoga routine to “find what feels good,” and she helps you do just that. If you’re looking for a calming experience right at home without paying a dime, this is your go-to.
No matter what it is or how well it works, if you’re always doing the same thing, your body is going to start to rebel. You’ll stop losing weight, lose tone and become softer than you were before. Don’t fall into this trap.
What is in? Learning a new skill, such as dancing, aerial acrobatics or skateboarding. It’s never too late to learn to use your body in new ways, even if you’ve already graduated college and aren’t quite sure how acid drops mesh with your day job as marketing assistant at a serious firm. But the truth is, the world is your oyster, and your fitness is what you make of it.
Don’t forget, when you head out for your next workout, to bring a source of entertainment. Podcasts, audiobooks and especially music can provide welcome distraction from the sometimes-intense physical discomfort of working out, and can therefore bring your workouts to the next level.
To help you truly dive in, blocking out extra road noise and other distracting elements, consider a durable, sporty set of workout earbuds that stay in place and deliver a nonstop sound experience that will keep you in the zone. Make sure the sport earbuds you choose are attractive, light and employ tangle-free technology, so no matter where you’re headed for your daily dose of exercise, you’ll always have the right accessories to guide you.
So next time you’re wondering how you’ll work up that sweat, try swapping one of your tedious routines for an exciting new option and see how it works for you!