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With America’s obesity epidemic on the rise, it has never been more important for people to get regular physical exercise. There are a great number of benefits gained by getting regular exercise at the gym—but a big problem with regular exercise is that it can get very boring. Here’s how to spice up your workout routine in order to make going to the gym a pleasure, not a chore.

  1. First of all, take steps to prevent injury—there’s nothing like a sprain to keep you from coming back to the gym. If you want to get the most out of your workout, make sure you do a proper warm-up; It will increase your body temperature, warm your muscles, increase the elasticity of the ligaments and tendons, help prevent injury, and prepare your body and mind for the upcoming workout.


  1. Change up your workout. If you normally head to the treadmill every day, you’re bound to get bored. Try the elliptical or some weight-lifting exercises in order to make things a bit more interesting. If you’re unsure of how to use a certain machine, make sure to ask an employee how it works before trying it.


  1. Try swimming. Swimming can be a refreshing change of pace if your gym features one. Swimming is great low-impact cardio and is perfect for those with arthritis or other joint problems. There are pool exercise classes you can join as well.
  2. Change the time of day you usually go to the gym. Instead of a mid-afternoon workout, try one later at night or earlier in the morning. You’ll never know if you don’t check it out—perhaps you’ll find a slow time where you can work out in private, or a more busy time if you like the hustle and bustle.


  1. Bring a friend. It can be a lot of fun to have a gym buddy—not only is it nice to have the company, but you’ll feel more motivated to go and work harder if your friend does too.
  2. Get some new music. If you’ve been listening to the same workout mix and it’s not really getting you pumped anymore, it’s definitely time for some new tunes.


  1. Buy some new workout clothes. Perhaps you’ve been feeling less than motivated—looking at those worn-out workout clothes doesn’t exactly inspire you to get going. Some new and well-fitting workout clothes may be the jumpstart you need to get to the gym and burn some calories.


  1. Try out some of the gym’s perks. Don’t be shy about using all the gym’s facilities—after all, you pay for them. For example, if your gym has a sun lamp or a massage table, try it out at some point in your workout—not only will it change up your boring routine, but it’ll relax you and give you some down time.


  1. Check out some of the gym’s classes. Dancing, yoga, spin classes—these are just a few options that many gyms offer, so ask for a schedule and give it a whirl. A fitness class will help you work out muscles that you don’t otherwise use, and it’s an opportunity to make friends too.


  1. Give yourself a reward. There’s nothing like a hot steam room after a long workout, so reward yourself by relaxing in the sauna or the hot tub—ending your workout on a high note can keep you coming back regularly.


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