First, evaluate your current exercise routine and determine what really bores you. A new variation on your favorite activity—such as cardio-funk or kickboxing instead of step aerobics, or hoisting free weights instead of working on machines—may be enough to reinvigorate a stale routine.
If you’ve always worked out indoors, move your workout outside for a welcome change of scenery. Run, hike or bike on trails or swim in a lake or ocean.
When tweaking your routine isn’t enough, make bigger changes. Take up an entirely new activity—especially something you never thought you’d do. If you’ve always stuck to solitary pursuits, sign up for a team sport, such as volleyball, basketball or even doubles tennis. Or tackle something you’ve always shied away from—indulge your thirst for adventure with a rock-climbing class (starting on an indoor wall, then moving to the real thing as your skills improve).
Small exercise gadgets aren’t necessary, but they can make your workouts more fun and challenging. Pedometers, heart-rate monitors, iPods, aquatic toys and safety equipment are just a few items to consider. These may boost your motivation in a different way that gives you that extra push!
Lastly, consider a short break - cut back on your usual routine and substitute other activities. You might even find an activity that you enjoy more than your old favorites.
Once you’ve fought your first battle with boredom, you’ll know the tricks to keep exercise from becoming too routine. Trying new sports, new classes and new activities—and learning how to throw a little variety into your old standbys—can help you overcome the nagging inclination to devise those creative excuses for not working out.