10 Ways to Spring Clean Your Workout Routine
Are you feeling that workout slump right about now? Maybe you’re bored of the same-old routine. After a while, any workout routine starts to feel a little old. For me, I can feel it coming. It’s a little harder to get motivated. Time doesn’t fly by like it used to. The excitement is waning. Starting to sound about right? It’s normal! It happens to everyone at some point. You know all those people who seem to have endless enthusiasm at the gym or in the run club or wherever you workout? Ever wonder how they stay so motivated all the time? Well they have a secret: they’ve developed tactics for spicing things up.
But there’s a big reason to spring clean your workout beyond just boredom. The biggest problem with an old routine is how it affects you physically. A ‘tired’ workout routine is also an ineffective workout routine. Boredom means things are too easy now, and when fitness gets too easy, getting results starts to take longer. Your body is telling you that it needs a challenge. It’s gotten used to the work and isn’t growing anymore. Ultimately, that’s why it’s so important to change things up every now and then.
Ask yourself this: do you still enjoy your workouts? If the answer is “no” or “kind of”, it’s time to spruce things up. Here’s what I do to refresh my routine:
Let Go of Old Leggings
I love my fitness clothes (especially my leggings), and I’ll admit I spend a decent amount of time finding the perfect fit. But eventually they stop holding up like they used to, and I start to feel a bit…frumpy. Spring cleaning is time to admit that we may need to let go of our favorites. You don’t even have to throw them away: Pinterest has some great ideas for how to give those old leggings a new life in other ways. Search for tips on “upcycling” old leggings.
2. Deep Clean Your Gear
Just how often do you really deep clean your workout gear? Sure, the clothes are easy to pop in the washer, but what about other gear like your running shoes? Cycling cleats? Gym bag? Weight-lifting gloves? Running hat? Giving them a good hand-wash can clean them more thoroughly than tumbling around in a washing machine ever could. That squeaky clean feeling will have you ready to get back to work and dirty up that gear again.
3. Check Out a New Class
Get out of an old workout routine by trying a brand new workout you’ve never tried before. You never know what you’ll like until you try it. Try out that muddy obstacle course run. That trampoline kickboxing class you heard about. Or a dance cardio session at 6am. Maybe the aerial fabric class you’ve had your eye on. Or even the baby goat yoga class you saw a flyer for. Seriously. Boutique studios are popping up all over with crazy fun ideas for fitness, and they can be a good way to surprise your body with a challenging yet exciting workout.
4. Change Your Route
No matter what kind of fitness fanatic you are, it’s possible to change your “route” for a new point-of-view. Your route is the way you do things every time you workout. If you’re a runner or cyclist, it’s as simple as finding an actual running route that’s new to you. If you’re a weight lifter, try starting with the weight machine you end your workout on and work backwards through your workout checklist. Take a yoga class? Try a different night, a different group, or instructor. Find a way to change your perspective and enjoy your workouts from a new angle.
5. Fix Your Fuel
Have you analyzed your fitness fuel lately? It could be time to try something new. Take a hard look at the ingredients of your pre, during, or post workout routine fuel. Are there any ingredients that are hard to pronounce or sound like a science experiment? It could be time to try going organic or finding more whole food options. Make sure to think about what you eat when you aren’t working out; that matters too! Your gut will thank you, and the rest of your body will feel the long-term results of good, clean energy.
6. Get New Gear
Getting a fresh start can be as simple as changing up the bag you bring to your workouts. Or tossing out those old gloves with the holes in them. Don’t throw something out just for fun, but consider how a new piece of gear can make the workout feel new, too. You might be surprised at how nice it feels to have a new pair of socks, gear bag, or water bottle to bring to a workout.
7. Go the Extra Mile
What if you swam that extra lap? Or added a couple of miles to your normal cycling route? Or lifted that extra set? Just for fun — no pressure. Who cares if you can’t make it the whole way. That’s the key to this tactic: don’t put pressure on yourself to finish that extra bit. Just keep testing yourself; eventually you’ll discover a new threshold you never knew you had.
8. Stop the Pre-workout Scramble
It might sound a little silly, but prepping for your next workout well ahead of time can get you looking forward to it. Don’t scramble to pack your bag or yank fitness clothes out of the closet right before your workout. Instead, create a workout routine that starts the day or morning before your next workout. If I have a run coming up, I pick out my outfit and lay it out on my dining table like a flat version of myself. I call mine #FlatKat. It’s ready to go when I am, and I feel more relaxed having prepared earlier.
9. Lead the Pack
Think about how you can lead the charge, rather than following. For me, that meant organizing a ‘newbie’ cyclist group ride one weekend. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the leaders who helped me conquer my fear of the road and get into road cycling. It was time to shift gears and pass on what I learned. Shifting from learner to teacher, I found that designing the route and teaching new cyclists ended up being more fun than work. So how can you be a fitness leader? Create a new weekly run to take charge of. Learn how to be the yogi rather than the yoga participant. Take a new weight lifter under your wing. There are many ways to take charge!
10. Remember the Old You
Take a moment to reflect on where your fitness journey started, and recognize just how far you’ve come. Know how you got here? Hard work, perseverance, and inspiration. Really seeing the difference between today and yesterday can be self-inspiring. It could be the motivation you needed to make today’s You the old You.
For me, this list is a sure-fire way to get a boost and find my mojo again in my workout routine. That feeling of newness and accomplishment makes me excited to get back to the grind and work my way toward my next fitness goal. Now have fun getting your spring cleaning game on, Health Warriors!
Refresh your routine with these tips and more by checking out our other fitness posts.