By Karen Creasey
Often I have swimmers ask me what they can do to take the boredom out of a swim workout or any workout for that matter. Exercise boredom is not exclusive to swimming. Even the most eager and dedicated fitness enthusiast gets bored with exercise. It is common to find a workout niche and stay in it until boredom sets in. Many of us get comfortable in a particular workout routine and we become habitual with what it takes to accomplish the exercise and familiar with the way the workout makes us feel.
Boredom however is the enemy to good health. It leads to workout slumps filled with lack of inspiration, poor excuses that keep us away from the pool or out of gym, low motivation, and sometimes the desire to quit exercise practice all together. Here’s a word of advice. Don’t quit. Instead, change it up.
For a challenging swim workout keep your heart rate at around 80% of your max for as much of your workout as possible. To ensure you’re staying in the zone, stop every 15 laps or so and use the clock to count your pulse for six seconds; tack a zero onto the number to calculate your beats per minute (BPM).
Incorporate training tools into your swim workout. Use hand paddles, fins, a pull buoy, or a kick board to make it more fun. These tools assist in strength training and muscle toning, and correct positioning as well.
Alter the pace of the swim workout. Add a sprint here and there. Nothing burns calories better than swimming fast. Try swimming four lengths easy, with a long stretch and a gentle pace and then two lengths fast with a vigorous kick and a powerful pull for instance. Or divide your workout into two or three segments swimming one or two fast laps at the end of each.
Changing up a workout-routine is essential for not only our physical bodies, but also our mental state-of-mind. The more we challenge our bodies to try new things, the further we get away from the exercise rut of boredom and the better we feel.
For additional boredom reducing exercise tips call the Palm Desert Aquatic Center (760)565-7647 and talk to a trainer.