It’s easy to get bored with your fitness routine especially if you’re doing the same thing every time, and some days a good playlist or a gym buddy won’t keep you going. I believe working out should be fun, but it doesn’t always feel that way when you hop on the treadmill for the fourth time that week. Whether you’re lacking motivation or feel like trying something new, here is a list of activities you can do to spice up your routine and keep things exciting.
Grab a friend or two, some snacks and a water bottle and go hike somewhere while the weather is still nice! You can’t get bored with hiking because the scenery is always changing, and when you’re done with a trail, there will be others waiting for you. While this is not a year-round activity – except if you invest in the right gear – it’s a nice alternative for the warmer months. There’s something to be said about working out in the fresh air, especially in the fall when the forest is bursting with color. The Seven Falls Regional Park and the Poisson Blanc Regional Park have some great trails, and the drive there from Montreal will take you between an hour and a half to two hours and a half.
- Rock Climbing
If you’re used to running or hiking outside, the gym can feel a little small during the colder seasons. Rock climbing is an excellent compromise for the adventurous type who don’t feel like going outside when the temperature starts dropping. Allez Up, a rock climbing centre close to the Canal Lachine, welcomes climbers of all levels. You need to earn accreditation to belay for someone, and you’ll need to bring a partner to climb most routes, but it’s also what makes working out more fun. However, if you’re looking for a different workout that doesn’t require any accreditation, you can always go there to boulder on a smaller wall. They even cater to busy schedules as they’re open from 6:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on weekdays, and from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekends.
If the stationary bike is your machine of choice at the gym, but you feel like you lack motivation after a while, why not give spinning a try? In a typical class, you will be riding to the beat of the music in a dark room with twenty other people, which makes it feel like you’re all part of the same team. What I like about spinning is that, even though the instructor will tell you when to change the resistance on your bike or the pedal speed, you’re still in charge of your ride. It’s all about what you want to achieve during that particular class, whether you want to sweat like never before or clear your mind. My favourite spinning studio, b.cycle, has three locations in Montreal and offers a $10 introductory class that you can sign up for on their website. They even provide you with the cycling shoes and a towel, all you need to bring is a bottle of water and your team spirit.
- Hot Yoga
If you want to take things slow and do something that will benefit both the body and the mind this semester, then hot yoga is the workout for you! Ensô Yoga, one of the downtown studios, offers different yoga classes taught in a room heated to around 38 degrees. Hot yoga will warm you up during the fall and winter, and according to their website, the heat is good to make muscles more elastic, improve flexibility and increase circulation, among other benefits. I usually take their hot flow when I want something a little bit challenging, and their hot yin if I’m looking for something more relaxing. Whichever class you choose, you’ll leave with a clear and calm mind. The studio offers three intro packages that you can find online: the 14 day trial for $59.95, the 21 day trial for $74.95 and the five classes pack for $62.50. All three bring individual classes to less than $13.
I’ve never felt sorer than after my first barre class, but that’s also how I know it’s targeting muscles I didn’t realize I had (or that I hadn’t worked in a long, long time). If you’re looking for a low-impact workout that will still get your heart pumping, this is it. As the class is inspired by ballet, you will be working directly with the bar, but you will also use a mat, light weights and exercise bands and balls. My favourite barre class is at the Victoria Park’s fitness club, where you get to work out in a modern and minimal decor.