Looking for a Fitness Routine Change? Try One of These Options This Year

A Marine belays down the rock wall.
Sgt. Matthew S. Davies, a 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit radio operator, belays down the rock wall at the Wallace Creek Fitness Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. (Cpl. Charles Clark/U.S. Marine Corps)

Now is a great time to make a few changes from the same old workout routine, especially if you are getting bored with it. If you're looking for something new and exciting to add to your schedule, there are plenty of fun options to choose from. From popular basics like running and weight training, to more unconventional options, there's something out there for everyone.

Here are some of the best workout ideas to consider this year:

Running. If you've been wanting to take your walking to a new level, consider running. Running is a great way to stay fit, and it's also a great way to explore your city or neighborhood. Start off slow with shorter distances and work your way up as you get more comfortable. You can also try running trails for a change of scenery. Walking large indoor facilities or a local athletic field or track are options as well. See beginner running plans that build you up from walking to perhaps a 5k event.

HIIT training. If you are looking for something a little more high intensity, the HIIT workout style might be just the thing. They typically are shorter than normal workouts, making them a particularly good option if time is an issue. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is designed to burn calories quickly and efficiently. Studies have shown that HIIT can burn up to 36% more calories than other workouts. This type of workout alternates between short bursts of intense activity and short periods of rest. Consider quick 4-5 minute circuits of calisthenics or weights followed by easy cardio rest for a few minutes. Intervals can be much shorter than that as well, such as the Tabata Interval where you do 20 seconds of fast movement and 10 seconds of easy movement for 5-7 minutes.

Yoga. Not only is yoga great for building strength and flexibility, but it's also a great way to relax and de-stress. You do not need any equipment aside from a mat for comfort and a free video you can find online, so it's a great option if you're on a budget. Consider mixing in some 5-minute cardio sets and doing 5 minute yoga stretches and poses and you have what I call the Mobility Day. This is a life-changing combination for me personally and has been a weekly favorite for nearly 10 years now.

Pilates. For a low-impact but still challenging workout, try Pilates. Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on building strength and flexibility through controlled movements. It's great for improving posture and toning your muscles. Plus, it's gentle enough for people of all fitness levels.

Rock climbing. If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous, try rock climbing. This is a great full-body workout that will challenge your strength, coordination and balance. You can find indoor rock climbing gyms in many cities and possibly on your military base, or you can go outdoors for a truly unique experience. This will require several lessons, but it can be a great hobby and mixes exciting fun with fitness.

Hiking. Try hiking with or without a backpack (aka rucking). As the weather gets warmer and days get longer, it's the perfect time to get outside and go on a hike. Not only is it a great way to get some fresh air, but hiking can also help you build strength and endurance. Add a backpack or weight vest to your walks and burn more calories.

Dancing. Dancing is another great option for those who want to stay fit while having fun. Research has shown that dancing can burn up to 400 calories in an hour. Plus, it's a great way to get your heart rate up and stay active especially if music has a way to get you moving. Try taking a class in your favorite style of dance or see if you can find some dance aerobic class videos online if you prefer staying home.

Swimming. Swimming is an ideal activity for those looking for a full-body workout. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that works your entire body. It's also an excellent way to cool down in the summer months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who swim regularly are 50% less likely to die from heart disease.

Walk and breathe. Something that is also recommended for people who just need to move more is to walk and practice breathing. Mixing in "box breathing" drills with a walk is beneficial for you to de-stress and relax as well as burn a moderate level of calories without much effort. Check out box breathing and the importance of just breathing to help us unwind.

You may be feeling like you need a change when it comes to your fitness routine this year. Why not try something new? According to a recent survey, almost 40% of Americans are looking to switch up their workout regimen each year. No matter what your fitness goals are, there's a workout out there for you. So why not try something new?

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