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Easy ways to mix up your favorite workout routine

If you have a tried and true exercise routine, mixing it up with different cardio, strength and balance workouts can help you get healthy and feel your best. Here are a few options to break up the monotony of your regular workout. 

Give cardio a go

You don't have to go to a spin class for it to count as exercise. Any vigorous activity will do. So if mopping the floors gets your heart rate up, ditch the spandex and grab your mop instead! (Or mop in spandex — we won't judge.)

The average heart pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood per day. That’s a lot of work for one organ! Cardio exercise helps to keep your heart strong so it can keep pumping efficiently. And it boosts the circulation of oxygen-rich blood around your body, keeping the rest of you healthy.

Curious to know what all the fuss is about high-intensity interval training? Never tried an open water swim? Cardio exercise is a great way to burn calories and strengthen your heart. And there are many ways to go about it.

Strength training

You don’t have to be an action movie star to benefit from strength training. Strength training has a ton of benefits. It makes you stronger, helps you fight disease, reduces belly fat and lowers your blood sugar levels. And studies have shown it can even boost self-confidence. 

Also, if you’re up for it, see if you can sneak in strength-training exercises throughout your day. For example, can you hold your belly in while you brush your teeth? Sounds simple, but you may be surprised how little actions add up.

Core training

Whether you're an athlete looking to improve your performance, or you just want to feel more agile, 10 minutes of balance training three times a week can reduce your risk of falls and injuries. Yoga, tai-chi and walking heel to toe are all great options.

Try working your core with planks, crunches or sit-ups. Add some push-ups and pull-ups for upper body strength. And round it out with some lunges and squats to work your glutes. Those are your butt muscles for you newbies.  

As we age, we lose muscle strength and flexibility, which in turn can affect our balance. So today, try a simple exercise to improve your stability. Start by standing with your feet firmly planted, hip width apart. Shift onto one leg and balance on that leg for as long as you can. Come back to the center, and then repeat with the other leg. Keep it going for 10 minutes. 

Ditch the distractions

Instead of looking for distractions during your next workout, why not incorporate a little mindfulness? See if you can focus on your body: the sensation of your breath, the sweat on your skin and the repetition of your muscles in action.

Need help with creating and sticking with healthy exercise habits? The Attain by AetnaSM app gives you tips, tools and points for making healthier and more mindful choices, like boosting your everyday activity level. Download the AttainSM app today in the App Store. Already using the app? Head over to the “Actions” tab in the app and start building healthy habits today.

This material provides a general overview of the topic. Health information is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a therapist, physician or other health care professional. Contact a health care professional with any questions or concerns about specific health care needs.