10 Exercise Boredom Busters

There are so many good reasons not to exercise.  One of the biggies is boredom.  Using the same old machines and running the same old track can bore you to tears. Almost 50 percent of people who start exercising quit after only six months, because they're bored and unmotivated. Read on for 10 exercise boredom busters that'll turn your workout around:

1. What's your problem?  Evaluate your fitness routine and determine what's causing exercise boredom.  Then, make a choice:

   a) Eliminate it. Quit running on the treadmill if it's driving you crazy.  There are countless ways to work out.

   b) Change it. Add something new to make it fun again.

   c) Do it anyway. Accept that it's good for you, and work through it.

2. Multitask. Keep your mind busy while you're working out. Watch TV, read a magazine, or listen to music to stave off exercise boredom.

3. Make it a combo. Try exercises that combine cardio, strength, and flexibility training.  Fast-paced yoga like Vinyasa and Bikram gets your heart rate up while simultaneously providing cardio and flexibility benefits.  Jumping rope provides a two-for-one cardio/strength training workout.

4. Involve your loved ones. Friends and family and make your workout a social occasion.  Commit to a workout buddy so that you'll show up, even when you don't feel like it.  You know it will be fun once you start. 

5. Go retro. Nothing beats exercise boredom better than a workout that's fun and funny.  Check out old videos like Jane Fonda's complete workout (yes, she's wearing a thong unitard and has a spiral perm) or Richard Simmon's Party Off the Pounds DVD and rock out 80's style. You'll burn extra calories laughing your socks off.

6. Buy new toys (or clothes). The American Council on Exercise says, "Small exercise gadgets aren't necessary, but they can make your workouts more fun and challenging." Look for pedometers, heart-rate monitors and iPods.

7. Get back to class. Exercising with others is fun, motivating, and a great way to try new things like ballroom dancing and kickboxing.  You're less likely to quit mid-workout if your teacher is watching.

8. Take a bribe. Reward your workouts. Download a new song or let yourself watch an extra half hour of TV. 

9. Go crazy. Crank up the jams and have some fun.  Grab the Wii from the kids or join Dance, Dance Revolution. Take up rock climbing or kite-boarding. 

10.  Give it a rest. Maybe you're not bored.  Maybe you're  tired.  Everybody deserves a break once in a while.  That's why the American Council on Exercise only recommends exercising 5-6 days per week.  Don't burn yourself out.  If you find, though, that your break is becoming a habit, go back to steps 1 through 9 and get back to work.