Spicing it up

When I first started exercising many years ago, I always did the same thing :  go to the gym, 30 minutes cardio and 15 minutes weights. Maybe once in a while I would go to a class, depending on who the teacher was. When I was doing this, there were many times that I felt I HAD to go the gym, or even DRAG myself there. My heart and motivation were not always in it.


I have gotten to the point in my life where I NEED to exercise, both for my physical but also mental health. I have done this by spicing up my fitness which has not only kept me motivated, but I has had a very positive impact on my body, rather than just doing the same kind of exercise over and over.

Usually, my week consists of :

  • Running
  • The pool
  • The gym
  • Exercise DVD or internet inspiration


I make an effort to not only change the kind of exercise I do, but also spice up things within. Here is how I do it :

Running :

  • Alternating between run / walk
  • Intervals to music, such as speeding up every time there is a refrain
  • Intervals with park benches : speeding up between 2 benches
  • Timed or distance intervals, using my watch
  • Long distance run
  • Running without watch / music
  • My most recent spice is chasing people : I run along then sprint to catch up with someone ahead of me

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The pool

  • Aquagym
  • Laps : changing strokes every 10 laps, only using my legs or only my arms, treading water
Time at the pool

Time at the pool

The gym

  • 15 minutes on the bike / 15 on the treadmill / 15 on the stairclimber
  • Cardio + a class
  • Cardio + upper body weights
  • Weights only + ab work
  • Heavier weights/ fewer reps or light weights / more reps
The gym

The gym

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DVD or internet inspiration

  • The Jillian Michaels’ Shred DVD has three 25 minute sessions. I do one if I don’t have much time, any 2 if I have more time
  • Any kind of tabata workout. There are tons of great sites out there but Taylor at the Lifting Revolution is one of my favorites for ideas

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I am not training for anything specific, I just want to feel good about myself and take care of my physical and mental well being. Spicing things up keeps me motivated and prevents boredom. Recently, my doctor (whom I hadn’t seen in a year), asked me what kind of sports I did because “she could just tell by looking at my body what great shape I was in”. It confirmed that my spice is working.


What do you do to spice up your routine ? Do you get bored easily ?

Comments: 8

  1. Courtney @ Eat Pray Run, DC May 8, 2014 at 5:10 pm Reply

    Hmmm, I don’t really get bored with running and I think that’s because I regularly run with a buddy who keeps me motivated — we also catch up while we run! I don’t have a gym membership but gyms do easily bore me 🙂

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm Reply

      I love running but due to overtraining and injury was forced to do it less often if I wanted to keep doing it… a big life lesson for me.

  2. Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. May 8, 2014 at 5:18 pm Reply

    I definitely seek out interval/circuit workouts so I’m not doing the same thing for an extended period of time!

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 10, 2014 at 8:34 am Reply

      I think our muscles and joints definitely prefer it that way !

  3. Britt@MyOwnBalance May 8, 2014 at 9:31 pm Reply

    I have exercise ADD! I am always doing something different. If I actually do something more than three times, I would say I am regular at it! Part of this is because we always have new studios and new classes so I like to try them out and talk about them on the blog and part of it is because I love trying new things!

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 10, 2014 at 8:33 am Reply

      Exercise ADD is a great way to put it ! You’re so lucky to live where you have all that choice. If I could try different classes I would, but there is nothing close by… and my gym’s classes are relatively basic. I would like to try a barre class at some time… it has not yet come to Paris. One day !

  4. Marnie May 9, 2014 at 3:04 am Reply

    I like your variety of workouts. I need to learn how to swim. That would be such a great low impact (but high cardio!) workout. I try to mix up running, cycling/spinning, and workout DVDs. Every once in a while, I’ll sign up for a class just to get some social interaction, but I won’t do that for more than a 2 or 3 week stretch.

    • Karen - French Inspiration May 10, 2014 at 8:30 am Reply

      I really hated the pool but I find it to be a great all over body workout – especially core, back & arms.

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