Tips from MCC cycle instructor Brian Krull
I generally enjoy my exercise time but would be lying if I told you staying consistent and keeping it interesting wasn’t a challenge. Sure, I have lots of good days but also occasionally struggle finding motivation. I’m constantly looking for ways to find a balance between routine and keeping it fresh. The issue I really struggle with is how do I make something a consistent occurrence and interesting at the same time. I don’t think I am alone, and in this blog, I’ll share a few things that keep me looking forward to my next ride.
Switch it up:
Whether it is a change of venue or format, I make a point of intentionally mixing it up! The possibilities on this topic are almost endless. I’m a creature of habit. Cycling is a “go-to” format for me, but sometimes it gets stale so mixing in a run, swim, or boot camp instead keeps things fresh. My fitness facility, The Monon Community Center, offers group exercise in many different formats, a pool for lap swimming, and an indoor track to run year-round!
The draw of something new and interesting may get you to the gym for a few days and who knows, maybe you find a new favorite way to exercise!
Be Less Structured:
Seems like many times I get caught up in stats and forget to enjoy the exercise. Exercising purposely without the structure and appreciating muscles working, joints going through ranges of motion or an elevated heart rate as opposed to distance, time, or heart rate numbers can be just as effective.
Instead of looking for a certain power number or target heart rate on my watch I sometimes measure efforts with perception or leave the watch/tracker behind!
Enjoy being less focused on specifics and simply appreciate exercising without a plan! My guess is that you will still get the full benefit from the workout and possibly enjoy it more!
Having recovery time built into my fitness routine is important and so is feeling good about taking rest. It is a bit counterintuitive to me, but just as active recovery periods are part of my individual workouts, rest needs to be part of my overall routine.
My thought here is that if you have been consistent, you are not likely to lose much fitness by hitting the snooze or skipping a workout occasionally. The more likely scenario is that your next workout has renewed energy and focus!
Keeping exercise interesting and finding motivation is sometimes difficult. Finding that balance between consistency and losing interest is a moving target but it is much easier to answer that morning alarm or change from work clothes to gym clothes when it doesn’t feel like “the same old thing” or ”has to” be done. Try creating some newness by switching things up a bit, taking the focus off stats, and taking a day off to renew your focus.