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Whether you run, bike, swim or climb, we all get tired of training at one point or another. Boredom in your exercise routine spells doom for your fitness goals. Here are a few things that might help you spice things up again and fall back in love with your sport of choice.
1) Find a Podcast!
Many people listen to music while working out, but once in a while, try listening to a podcast an on issue or theme that you love. Sometimes, a steady narrative holds our attention more than a stream of songs. If you’re new to the world of podcasts, check out NPR’s This American Life, Serial, or RadioLab. If none of these float your boat, try searching iTunes podcasts by genre to find something more suitable – there really is some
2) New Scenery
Find an area nearby to explore while you train, whether it is a provincial park or an unfamiliar residential neighborhood. Try to take in all the details as you move through your route—or maybe ditch the route altogether and just explore. Be curious and creative, and give yourself some the fun sense of freedom.
If you are fortunate enough to take an annual vacation, consider traveling somewhere that is training-friendly. If you live in a northern climate, going somewhere to do beach runs or ocean swims might be just the thing to energize you through the seventh inning of a long regimen. The promise of relaxing by a poolside in a nice hotel is also not a bad motivating factor to finish training sessions early in the day.
4) Incorporate training into a different activity
Depending on what type of activity you are training in, think about how you might link your training sessions to another activity. If you are mountain biking, for example, turn your next long ride into a geocaching expedition—a fun and (usually) cheap way to explore remote areas around the world. (To find a geocache near you, sign up for a free account) If you’re a runner, on the other hand, plan your route to end at a favorite café, restaurant or other site and have a friend or partner meet you there for a coffee date–with a fresh change of clothes of course!
Aromatherapy and essential oils have been shown to improve concentration and focus in a variety of settings. For athletic purposes, look for energizing scents like grapefruit, orange, lemon verbena, rose, rosemary, or eucalyptus oils—you can even combine them to form a unique scent all your own. To use, fill a clean and empty 4 oz. spray bottle with 10-30 drops of essential oil, and fill bottle with 120 mL water. Spray over skin before working out, and let dry while stretching. Repeat 1-2 times during a workout for added benefit. (NOTE: if you are pregnant or nursing, always check with a physician or herbalist before using essential oils.)