Continually progressing keeps exercise interesting and further increases your fitness level.
Here are five fun ideas to keep challenging yourself.
Identify an area of weakness, like a muscle group you want to tone or a fitness skill you’d like to have. You might assess your level of each of the key components of fitness — cardio endurance, muscle strength, flexibility, balance and agility, and then take steps to improve the area that you ranked last.
Take an activity you love to a new level. If you’re a runner, consider training for a half-marathon or triathlon. Or join an adult team or group. USA Cycling (usacycling.org), for one, has clubs across the country that organize group rides, where you can explore scenic routes, improve skills and make new friends who share your passion.
Another idea is to master a new activity. If you’re an avid skier, take up tennis. If you love cycling, consider hiking. If you have a passion for running, dive into swimming.
Exercise for the greater good. Sign up for a fitness event that raises money for a worthwhile cause and whose scope will challenge you. For instance, if you’re used to 5K runs, look for a 10K.
Finally, if you want to really think outside the box, investigate extreme sports events that will challenge you on an entirely different level and be fun at the same time. Options run the gamut from Tough Mudder (toughmudder.com), miles-long obstacle courses offered at venues across the country, to destination events like marathon weekend at Disney World in Florida. You might even consider creating your own challenge and asking friends and family to join you in it.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, a government agency, has tips to help you organize your own fitness event.