While exercise is integral to a healthy body and spirit, doing the same workout over and over again can get boring. Before you know it, you start to slack on effort or even skip entire sessions. If you're feeling unmotivated with your current exercise program and are looking for a new activity to quiet your mind, and reignite your passion for fitness, here are some ideas to entertain.
Advertising of yoga may have you believe that it's only for young, lithe contortionists, but nearly anyone of any age or fitness level can benefit from practicing yoga. The poses are meant to help you attain feelings of balance, peace and calm, and also work nearly every muscle group in your body. If you've never tried it before, look for a beginner’s class in your area. Most studios are bastions of serenity, which will help you turn inward, quiet your mind, and focus solely on your body during your workout.
Being in the water has a certain tranquility to it, even when you're putting in a lot of effort. This is especially true if you can find a pool that has adult-swim hours, or is largely unused during a time of day that is convenient for you. Whether you choose to do long, lazy laps or go full-throttle, swimming will leave you focused and relaxed. If you aren't confident in your skills or never learned, private swim lessons in NYC are available from SwimJim for people of all ages.
Being out in nature has a calming effect on lots of people, and hiking can be great cardio. All you need to get started is a light backpack, a water bottle, and a good pair of shoes. Select a quiet trail off the beaten path, and use your workout to find the hidden gems around your area. As you progress, you may even decide to upgrade your gear and choose more challenging trails. You set your own pace which allows you to tailor your workout to your own goals.
Not only is bicycling great low-impact exercise, it's a carbon-free form of transportation. The rhythm of pedaling allows you to quiet your mind and focus on your breathing as you cycle along, and you may discover that your morning commute becomes your moment of zen for the day. If you live near the countryside, cycling can also be paired with hiking for longer excursions.
If you like to go all-out while exercising and really exhaust yourself, running stairs is repetitive and mentally calming while giving you an excellent workout. Find a stadium or set of long stairs near you and have at it. To avoid knee problems, work up slowly and don't overdo it. If you have weak ankles, be careful trotting down the steps at first until you're completely confident with your footing.
Ice skating is often brushed off as an activity for children, but it's excellent exercise and will give you legs of steel. Open skate time, during which everyone is required to skate in one direction around the perimeter of the ice at their own pace, allows for a great workout and quiet reflection at the same time. If you liked skating as a child, or would like to learn, head over to your local rink and give it a try. Your ankles and glutes may need to time to get used to the demands of skating, but it's a workout that's both fun and effective.
If you're burnt out on the gym or just not getting the quiet mind you need from a workout, try out these alternatives. You may discover a new type of exercise that excites you and allows your brain to relax while your body reaps the benefits.