10 Tips To Revitalize Your Fitness Routine

Let's face it, we all get bored of our fitness routines now and then. Whether it's the repetition of a routine you've been following for too long or simply the lack of excitement your workout  brings you, something needs to change.
Personally, I was getting so bored of the gym a while ago that I was barely going anymore. This was also a result of letting work take over my life and failing at implementing a set routine for me to follow that I would be dedicated to. Over the past month or two, there are a handful of things that I've started to do differently that has helped me a lot and continues to help me. There are many things you can do to make working out something you look forward to again as we head into the fall season, with some suggestions that will kick you're butt if you're up for the challenge.  I've listed ten recommendations below that you can take or leave. I'm not an expert or anything, but some of these are some useful tips I've picked up as of late from people that are experts in their fields. Hope the list helps a bit and feel free to leave your own tips in the comments! 

10. Get A Good Night's Sleep 

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it really is important to ensure you're getting the right amount of sleep if you want to have a good workout (or even feel like you want workout). One thing I learned recently is also how important it is to ensure your are sleeping in complete darkness. Unfortunately, I don't have that option in the apartment that I'm living in right now, so I think I'm going to pick up a sleeping mask to help me get the most ideal sleep. When you don't sleep well, you also doing eat properly the following day because your body will crave more carbs than you actually need and you won't eat properly. 

9. Attack Your Cupboards & Meal Plan

You've heard the saying: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." This couldn't be more true when it comes to healthy eating. Go grocery shopping every Wednesday and Sunday and plan your meals out for the week. If you're on the go a lot, make sure you've got resealable containers to bring your meals with you so you're not always eating out. 
Eating healthy and at the right times will give you the results you desire from your workout routine and ensure you have the energy to really push yourself with each and every rep. It's like a cycle... Working out will make you crave healthy food, and healthy food will give you what you need to work out. 
I've picked up a few tips from a seminar I attended with Scott Andrews who is a registered Nutritionist. I highly recommend him and look forward to learning more from him and sitting down and actually working on an ideal meal plan for my body and activity level. You can contact him at scottandrews.lifestylecoach [at] gmail.com

8. Update Your Music

Music is a big motivator for me in life, and especially at the gym. That being said, your workout playlist can get stale really quick when you've listened to it over and over again for way too long. 
Often times there are some free compilation mixes online that you can download for free that have some upbeat remixes of the latest and greatest songs that everyone's listening too. An example of this is a new 2012 Fall Playlist that was just released from a music site called  Jon Ali's Blog. You can check out and download the mix here. Another option (if you have WiFi available) is to download theSongza app. This app allows you to choose the type of music you want to listen to with the click of a button on your smart phone. 

7. Join A Bootcamp Class

I've been going to West Coast Fitness bootcamps whenever possible for quite some time. Led by Mike Dirks, their team of personal trainers and instructors really know what they're doing and they are great motivators for everyone in their classes. To kick things up a notch, I recently joined their Bootcamp Elite Class which they offer three times a week and I absolutely love it. My butt gets a serious whooping every time I go and I leave drenched and feeling great. These particular classes are done at Groundworks Athletics on Granville Street, but for the other bootcamp classes and/or personal training, there are more location options. 
The accountability of signing up and paying for a class where you are expected to be there will make you throw your lame excuses out the window and make your health and fitness a priority once again. 

6. Get A Workout Buddy

As I just mentioned in the last tip, accountability is a great thing to have in your fitness routine. In addition to the bootcamp classes I've been attending, I've also been working out twice a week at the gym with Jamie. It's great to have set days and times to meet each week so you and your workout partner know you have to show up otherwise you'll be letting the other one down. 
In addition to that, having a partner to workout with encourages you to push yourself further on every rep and also ensure you won't get distracted or leave early for lack of motivation. One note would be that it's best to ensure your partner is someone that will be there to workout hard with you and not to socialize. You can do that before and after, or when you see each other on the weekend. 

5. Try 'Insanity'

If you have the space and you're bored of the gym or you travel a lot, 'Insanity' is a great workout / DVD collection that you can also achieve great results from if you stick to it. This one can be a bit trickier because you do require the self-motivation to do it, but if you do, the workouts are very intense and you'll finish each workout feeling fantastic. 
Actually, the workout that Jamie and I do at the gym is actually the only "weights-required" DVD in the 'Insanity' workout and it's a great whole-body workout. We leave the gym drenched with this one as well. 

4. Get Some New Gym Attire

Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes or new gym outfit if you feel like you've worn out some of your old stuff.  If a new outfit is what you need to get yourself out the door and on your feet, then "just do it". A new pair of shoes can also go a long way especially if your old shoes are not giving you the support you need for your workouts as well. The last thing you need is to get injured and bedridden. 
Even a new water bottle can be a fun new addition. I recently got a new one and I love it. I find that I drink a lot more water when I have one handy. 

3. Try A New Sport / Activity 

Every spring / summer, I play soccer in a recreational league and I highly recommend it. Not even just soccer, but just being part of a fun sport that will keep you active and allow you to have tons of fun in the process. 
Although it's not exactly a sport, Yoga is something that I'd like to get into more as it will allow me to be more flexible which will also help my other workouts. I've done hot yoga a few times and it was a tough workout on it's own! The other benefit to Yoga is the peace of mind and relaxation you may be lacking in your busy life. I know I could use a little of that. 

2. Set Goals 

Another quote that I love is "Goals determine who you are going to be". This can certainly be applied to fitness and nutrition. If you set some specific goals on what you want to achieve, you're more likely to get somewhere with your workouts. Usually a personal trainer at your gym or fitness class can help you with this and aid you in implementing the steps that will be necessary in achieving your goal. Whether thats a workout plan or a nutrition plan or both. Keep in mind, there are better goals than an ideal weight on the scale - your trainer can talk to you about body composition and body measurements that would be a better way to measure your success. 

1. Have Fun 

I think you can see that the common trend is that you don't want to make working out a chore. You should make it fun... and fun for you may not be the same as fun for someone else. Whether it's your favorite music, bringing a friend along, doing something you haven't done, or just simply pushing yourself further than you ever have, your fitness plan can open up a whole new world of possibilities.