Yes…blow bubbles for fitness. Okay, not for fitness, but for fun-ness. Sometimes, those workouts can get monotonous. Long runs/walks, can drag on and on. But if you give yourself some fun little rewards along the way, you anticipate each upcoming step with pleasure. And, sure, you might not like blowing bubbles like a five-year-old (though, really, what’s the drawback? Soft bubbles that drift away into the morning sun, popping in the atmosphere above, or catching on branches and bursting with a thousand particles of sparkly soap…and a momentary return to childhood and the world of “Johnny looked at me!” as the worst problems for the day…), but you can reward yourself with other little pleasures. If you enjoy photography, get a little pocket camera that you can stuff into your pocket or pack, and every half mile or so, stop, take a random picture, and keep going. See what creative and unusual photos you can come up with over the next month. Even if you run the same track, or the same path through the town, you will find different images every time you stop.
5 Other fun “pauses” or mental breaks you can make along your workout paths:
1. Learn some new dance moves.
(Look on YouTube for ideas, if you’re stuck), and then, out on the path, every half mile, throw in a combination (sure, people might look at you funny, but, really–who cares? You’re having fun.)
2. Try a new genre of music.
–one you don’t normally listen to at all (make sure it meets your tempo needs, though…if you need upbeat music, for example, now is not the time to try out classical music). Expand your horizons and your workout music options all at once.
3. Count wildflowers.
(Maybe not so easy in winter, I know–find something else to count). As you walk, see how many colors and/or varieties of wildflowers you can spot.
4. Write a mental storybook.
As you walk, run or bike (or whatever), create some characters, a plot and subplots and tell yourself a new story involving these same characters, every time you go out for a workout. Incorporate elements of your workout into the tale, including environmental bits, historical facts, imagined scenarios and that creepy dude that always stares at you when you run by. These stories don’t have to be great, either, but they sure can break up the monotony, improve your communication skills, and even provide a few laughs when you realize how ridiculous your subplot sounds. If you happen to remember your story at the end of the workout, great. If not, who cares? It was fun while it lasted, and helped you push through the mind-game moments.
5. Name the trees along your route.
Give them each names, personalities, whatever you like, and maybe even write some mental haiku about each one. You can always do this with those pesky dogs that bark at you, the cats that lie around in windowsills blinking out at you, or even the houses themselves. Remember Anne of Green Gables? Think of some names like those for the houses or apartment buildings you come across–even if they already have a name. You can, of course, also incorporate these into your mental storybook.
But whatever you do, don’t let boredom overcome you while you workout!