Getting into a fitness rut can lead to boredom and demotivation. We’ve all had periods where we struggle to stay motivated in our workouts. The routines you enjoyed doing in the beginning can become stale and lose their excitement, which can make you want to give up exercising altogether. But don’t forget — one of the most important aspects of fitness is that it should be fun! Make the effort to try something new and mix up your workout to bring the joy back. Here are a few signs that its time to change your workout routine along some suggestions on how to mix it up.

Prevent Exercise Boredom
If you dread going to the gym or running down your usual route, then it’s time to mix up your exercise routine. One of the best ways to do so is by trying new workouts. If you love running, but need a change of pace, then you should try a rowing machine. Rowing can burn 600 calories in an hour or more.

If you usually exercise alone, try a yoga or a Zumba class to see if working out with a group will make you excited again. Meeting new friends in an exercise class can give you a reason to recommit to exercising regularly. By joining a running group or getting a workout buddy, you will have someone to chat and have fun with. You will keep each other accountable, too.

Build New Muscles
Performing one type of exercise alone, such as running, will strengthen your legs. Swimming will give you very strong shoulders and arms. That’s why it’s easy to tell what sport professional athletes are in by looking at their bodies. If you typically rely on only one type of exercise, mixing up your routine will give you the opportunity to exercise different muscle groups. Recreational exercise that targets different areas of the body will give you a wider range of strength.

One way to build new muscles is by using the cable machine at the gym to get a full body workout. Once you learn how to set it up, it can be one of the most useful machines in your repertoire. Some great exercises on the cable machine include the wood chop (to reduce love handles), chest presses, lat pull downs and deadlifts.

Beat Your Weight Loss Plateau
When your muscles become accustomed to doing an activity your body becomes efficient at it. This means you may burn fewer calories for the same amount of exercise. If your goal is to burn fat, then you will want to surprise and challenge your body in new ways. Make it a bit harder for yourself and you will be rewarded with weight loss.

An often overlooked exercise that can help you over that plateau is jumping rope. It’s a simple, but intense, workout that gets your heart pumping and burns calories fast. For a 150-pound person, jumping rope can burn 340 calories in half an hour.

Keep trying new things and don’t give up!

There are so many types of workouts to get your heart rate pumping — don’t settle for being bored! Try new things and mix up your routine so you look forward to something new each week. Even minor tweaks to your usual routine can make you excited to lace up your running shoes again.