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Expanding Your Fitness Activities

Even the most dedicated person experiences periods when it's a struggle to get any fitness activity into the day. Expanding your fitness activities is a good way to increase your motivation.

Coaching and teaching

If you are bored with a sport or activity you once enjoyed, coaching or giving instruction can renew your interest. (You may need to learn how to coach properly, but that can be fun as well.) Young people and those who are new to a sport often have an enthusiasm for it that you can catch. Coaching or teaching will also make you feel proud of your skills, even if you are not an expert, which can lead to renewed interest in them.

  • Youth leagues for organized sports are often seeking good coaches.
  • If you ski, offer instructions at a ski resort.
  • If you cycle, offer to lead a group of schoolchildren on a bike ride to teach bicycle safety.
  • Offer to lead an informal fitness class at your workplace during lunch or after work.

Competition

Competition can be a good motivator because:

  • It gives you a specific and measurable goal to work toward.
  • Learning the details of a new course or event and then preparing for it can restore the excitement and challenge that's gone from more familiar competitions.

Helping to plan or organize a competitive event instead of entering it can provide friendship and fun with others interested in the same activity.

Cross-training

Cross-training is the combination of various activities to spread the work among various muscle groups. Cross-training has some important advantages:

  • It prevents boredom by providing variety. It can help you break out of a slump.
  • It helps you maintain balance among your various muscle groups. For instance, runners who have developed powerful leg muscles might cross-train to strengthen the upper body, which does not get a good workout from running.
  • It reduces the risk of injuries because the same muscles are not being stressed in the same way during every workout.

Some exercise machines, such as elliptical cross-trainers, can help you cross-train. Or you can use exercise machines that give variety to your program by working muscle groups that aren't heavily used in your primary activity.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Heather Chambliss, PhD - Exercise Science
Last Revised October 25, 2011

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