Variety is the Spice of Exercise: 3 Signs it’s Time to Switch Things Up

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By MacKenzie Nelson-Greene

We have been told time and again that it is essential to change our workout routines frequently. Changing workout routines is essential to our fitness goals: whether we are trying to lose weight, build muscle, or promote heart health.

Getting too comfortable in a workout routine is much like getting too comfortable in a relationship: boredom takes over and eventually we lose sight of our goals and ambitions. Needless to say, this is the opposite of what we want when it comes to our health. However, it is difficult to recognize our own feelings toward our workouts, because we often place the blame for our feelings elsewhere.

Therefore, it is important to know when to change our exercise routines. Once we can recognize how our bodies and minds react to workouts, we will understand why these changes are necessary, thereby maximizing our health plans by personalizing them to our bodies’ fitness needs.

If you need to know when to change your workout routine, check out these three warning signs that it is time to mix things up.

#1) You Feel Worse

If you find that during your workouts, you get more cramping and more fatigued than normal, it is time to change up your workout. According to Jen Mueller of, “If you’re feeling overly tired or perpetually sore, you could be overtraining.”

If you find that you are overworking and overtraining a certain area, start refocusing the areas you wish to work on. If your arms and legs are getting fatigued, start doing core strength training for a few weeks.

Additionally, if you’ve been hitting the treadmill extra hard, and it’s pooping you out faster than normal, take a break from it for two weeks. Instead, find your cardio in a Zumba, Hip-Hop, or step class. This will get your heart pumping but it will work different leg and arm muscles than the treadmill.

#2) You’re Not Interested Anymore

You’ve noticed that recently you’ve been trying to find excuses to get out of exercising, not because it is exercise, but because you now find exercise boring. Is there always something more important to do?

When the human mind does the same thing repeatedly, the rhythm is no longer stimulating. When you apply this to your exercise and health program, the results can be very detrimental to your goals, because you consider ending the program rather than changing it.

According to Jen Mueller, “Changing your workout routine whenever these signs arise will help keep your motivation high as you work to improve your fitness level.” If you can’t mentally begin or finish exercising, it is definitely time to change things up. The best way to do this is to tear your current workout routine down and rebuild it.

If you’re the type who works out at home, change your workout video. You don’t have to jump into a P90X routing, but if you were using a dance exercise video, you may want to switch to the martial arts exercises to get yourself interested again.

If you have been focusing on a certain type of yoga, consider changing the type of yoga. Even changing your yoga instructor for a few weeks can help you stimulate your brain as you work out.

#3) If You’ve Reached the Dreaded Plateau

You work out for thirty minutes a day. You’ve always worked out for thirty minutes a day. You’ve been losing weight consistently. Suddenly, you aren’t shedding the pounds anymore. It’s becoming incredibly frustrating.

Mueller states: “Just as you can get bored by always doing the same exercises, your body can also adapt to these exercises so that they don’t offer the same benefits that they once did.” When our bodies stop reacting to our workouts, we often wonder what we are doing wrong.

The solution is as simple as making a few changes to your workout routines.

Change up your workout routine by adding different forms of cardio along with strength training. Sure, thirty minutes on the elliptical is a great way to sweat out those pounds, but adding strength training will keep your body active throughout the day.

When you reach the point of pain, boredom, or plateau, you know it is time to change up your exercise routine. You can also try switching things up on a week-by-week basis to ensure that you are not overworking any one part of your body. What are some ways to switch up your workout routine? Share with us in the comments below!


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