Mix it up: 5 ways to add variety to your exercise time

Now that spring is almost here, there’s no excuse to stay indoors when you can get out and get fit.

Sondra E. Z. Hines

Sondra E. Z. Hines -

If you made a promise this year to be more physically active, I hope you’re sticking with your commitment. There are countless benefits to regular exercise.

A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise tracked 1,500 people over five years. Those who were active daily were 31 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure.

To help you get motivated – whether you’re experienced or just starting out – here are five ways you can add variety to your exercise regimen in 2017.

Before starting, check with your doctor and get help from a fitness professional to avoid injuries and to achieve desired results.

1.   CrossFit: This is a high-intensity workout that builds strength and conditioning. For example, it might include running and weigh lifting. Although I’ve never taken a class, some of my friends are CrossFit fanatics. You know a workout is popular when mega brands like Reebok and ESPN sponsor televised competitions.

2.   Exercise Apps: Recently I got a new smart phone, and I feel like I’m in fitness ecstasy. At the touch of my fingers, I have access to hundreds of apps (many that are FREE), gym reminders, etc. Popular tools such as FitBit and others easily sync with mobile devices, offering another advantage.

3.   Hula Hoop: This children’s toy from the 1950s is inexpensive, low-impact, fun and offers an effective workout. Need I say more?

4.   Cycling: I’ve flirted with cycling a few times, and I’m now a fan. Cycling offers a cardiovascular workout, is low-to-moderate impact and promotes weight loss. Now that spring is almost here, it’s a terrific time to hit some of the many greenways that Charlotte has to offer.

5.   Zumba: This is still one of my favorite workouts. Since 2008, when I received my certification, I’ve continued to enjoy combining my love of dance, music and fitness into a high-intensity workout.

Do you know of other workouts I should try? If so, let me know. There’s always room to add one or two more.

Until next time, I wish you wellness and joy!

Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former adjunct professor, she has more than a decade of experience in the health industry, presenting at local, regional and national events. Follow her on Twitter

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