While some people run primarily for fun, many others run solely for the health benefits. If you are looking for some new, stimulating ways to make your work out time more exciting, look no further.
Update your music
This is the most basic way to spruce up your time in running shoes. Simply downloading new tunes can keep you more interested. Specifically, listening to music with a certain amount of beats per minute can help you up the pace of your stride. If the running zapped all your energy, and you are feeling lazy, free smart phone apps such as RockMyRun and TempoRun will craft playlists for you using songs with specific BPMs.
Change your route
Don’t run in the same place every time; that is a sure way to get burnt out. Instead, run your route in reverse, or better yet, go somewhere completely different. Driving to the next town over can open up a whole new world to discover while running. On the same token, change your terrain. Not only is constantly running on the same surface bad for your body, but it gets boring. Bring some variety into your workout by trying a beach run, a trail run, a hill run, a track run, or a grassy run. A new set of muscles will thank you.
Change up your pace
Keep yourself invested by turning your run into an interval workout. Simply doing repeat time-trials of a shorter distance at a faster speed can really increase your cardio benefits. Also, try a fartlek. This is a silly word for a seriously good workout. You begin your run with a pre-determined distance in mind and, within that distance, you strategically switch from jogging to sprinting for defined amounts of time. As your health and abilities improve, you can spend more time “on” and less time “off.” Both of these tactics burn more fat, as well.
Find a new running partner
Running alone or with music can be nice; it gives you “me” time. However, for a runner’s well-being, it is necessary to run with a friend at least once a week. This can be the day of your long, slow run so spend it at “conversation pace” talking about your favorite shows with your neighbor. Then the following week, run with someone new and talk about something completely different. It gives you something to look forward to. Just remember not to limit yourself by running at the same “conversation pace” as someone potentially less advanced as you. Dogs also can make great running partners.
Use new apps for motivation
The number of mobile applications out there for runners is astounding. Countless apps allow you to map your run, or count your calories, but here is a different app suggestion: running games. Most are free or under $5 on Apple App Store or Google Play. Try Zombies, Run! in which you are effectively running from the brain-eating undead on your phone while collecting supplies at various “checkpoints.” Or download Missile Wars, where you and friends (all of whom must have the app, as well) attempt to virtually bombard each other. While attacking the others, you must run out of blast range in 60 seconds and you’re safe. While somewhat morbid, it is very effective. Old-fashioned games without a phone are helpful, too. Bring out your inner juvenile by playing tag or follow-the-leader when running in a group.
Even if running is just a way to lose weight for you, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, as well. Trying each of the above five tips can keep your workout spruced up for quite a while. Be sure to rest, cross-train, hydrate, and remember why you’re running. A little motivation and a little zest can help you attain any goal.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.