With a new year comes new health resolutions, but it’s hard to stay motivated doing the same old workouts (yawn). Adding a fun variation to your favorite exercises or putting a new spin on last year's props could be just the challenge you need to recharge your tired routine so you can hit the ground running with your new exercise goals.

Hand Weights

I’m not sure about you, but for me there are times when going on a walk just doesn’t cut it. Enter weighted gloves. Using light weighted gloves (or hand weights) while walking, curl your arms palm up toward you to do bicep curls. Or simply pump your arms next to your sides for strengthening and toning. Keep the weight at a safe and low number. (Three pounds is ideal for most people.)

Running Games

Add some fun to your run by introducing interval games. Interval training was all the rage in 2013, and according to the American College of Sports Medicine, it’s not going anywhere in 2014. Fartlek (Swedish for “speed play”) is not only a very fun word to say, but also a strategy used by competitive runners to improve speed and endurance. Try running short distances or shorts amounts of time at a high intensity, followed by a recovery time at a low intensity (such as a fast walk) for about five minutes, and repeat. This is especially fun when running with friends or a partner. 

Switch Up Your Pool Routine

Swimming is a great and very meditative workout, but it can get repetitive. Next time you do a pool workout, mix it up and stand in the shallow lane. Doing backward high-knee runs and side shuffles/grapevines is a great way to work your core and thighs without putting stress on your joints. Try dragging your arms through the water as you run to create more resistance and tone your arms while you’re at it.

Resistance Bands

Bands are a great tool to use for stabilization. Try wrapping one around the handlebars of a treadmill as you walk uphill, or a cross-trainer as you put most of your weight on your heels. Holding on to the band instead of the handlebars will engage your core-stabilizing muscles as well as strengthen your arms.

Happy New Year!

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