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7 Workouts to Try in 2023

The new year is the perfect time to start incorporating new workouts into your routine, it's a great way to keep you motivated and interested in achieving your fitness goals.


In this blog, we've explained why switching up your workout is so important and listed 7 fun fitness alternatives to replace the monotonous elliptical workouts.


Why you should be switching up your workout:


It's very easy to fall into a rut when it comes to exercise- doing the same workout every day can become a mindless form of meditation. And yes, regular exercise is a great thing that should be a priority for all of us. But doing the exact same thing every time you hit the gym is not ideal.


Adding variety to your physical fitness routine has a number of benefits for both your body and brain. Here are just some of the benefits you’ll see by switching it up at the gym:

  1. Improved brain health → We know that regular physical activity is great for the brain, keeping it sharp and aiding in preventing memory loss. But learning new skills will also help to keep your neurons functioning better. So, doing a new workout that requires memorization and skill, like pickleball, is a double-whammy.

  2. Fewer injuries from overuse → Putting your body through the same motions, again and again, is a common reason for injuries at the gym. Repetitive strain injuries occur when doing a lot of repetitive motions, like running, kickboxing, or hitting a tennis ball. Adding in some new exercises will give your overused ligaments, joints, and muscles a much-needed chance to rest and recover. Plus, if you do get injured, performing a different activity that avoids the injured region will help you to stay in shape and heal at the same time.

  3. More calories burned → When you do the same exercise over and over, your body gets used to it and becomes efficient at the movement. As your body adapts, it will require fewer calories to complete the exercise, even if you’re not changing the amount of time you work out. Incorporating new workouts will challenge your body in a new way. Plus, your body will have to work harder to adjust to the new activity, which means an increase in the number of calories you burn each workout.

  4. New muscle growth → If you’ve ever looked at professional athletes, you can tell how focusing exclusively on one sport will build very specific muscles- like the strong arms and shoulders of swimmers or the chiseled legs of cyclists. But, if you’re not a professional athlete, it’s more beneficial to do a little bit of everything. By switching it up, you’ll build up your endurance, while also toning your arms and legs.

  5. Decreased workout boredom → Ever find yourself counting down the seconds left on your elliptical workout or dissociating during your daily run? Take that as a sign to switch things up. Try a workout class like Zumba, kickboxing, or spinning that is typically high energy with fun music to shake you out of your boredom. Plus, adding some excitement to your workout routine will help you to stay motivated to achieve your fitness goals.

  6. Stress relief: Exercise has been shown to be an effective way to reduce stress and improve mental health. By trying new workouts, you may find activities that help you relax and de-stress like yoga, Tai Chi, or pilates.

Now that you know the benefits of adding some variety to your workout, here are 7 fun, unique workouts for you to try!


1. Hop on the rowing machine!


Using a rowing machine and erging is a great way to get in an upper body workout, especially if you don’t like using weights. Moreover, rowing has been linked to a number of benefits, including:

  • Cardiovascular conditioning: Rowing is a great cardiovascular workout that can help to improve your endurance and overall fitness.

  • Full-body workout: Rowing works a number of different muscle groups, including your legs, back, arms, and core. This makes it a great option for a full-body workout.

  • Low impact: Rowing is a low-impact exercise, which means it is easy on the joints and can be a good option for people with joint issues or injuries.

  • Calorie burning: Rowing can be an effective way to burn calories and lose weight.

  • Convenience: Rowing machines are easy to use and can be a good option for people who do not have access to a gym or who prefer to work out at home.

2. Try the battle ropes at the gym!


Ever seen those heavy ropes in the corner of the gym that look like they’ve been dragged in from the dock? Those are actually battling ropes, a tool that provides a great full-body workout. To use them, simply grab the ends and stretch them out on the floor. Then, begin moving them up and down or side to side to create waves in the ropes. Battle ropes have a number of benefits, including:

  • Full-body workout: Battle ropes involve a number of different muscle groups, including the arms, shoulders, back, and core. This makes them a great option for a full-body workout.

  • Cardiovascular conditioning: Battle ropes can provide a challenging cardiovascular workout that can help to improve endurance and overall fitness.

  • Strength training: Battle ropes can help to build strength in the upper body and core.

  • Improved coordination: The rhythmic and fluid movements involved in using battle ropes can help to improve coordination.

3. Hit a pilates class!


Pilates classes have become very popular throughout the fitness community, and for good reason! Throughout a Pilates class, you’ll be working on core strength, flexibility, and overall body control all at once. Some further benefits of Pilates include:

  • Improved core strength: Pilates focuses on strengthening the muscles of the core, including the abdominal muscles, back muscles, and the muscles around the pelvis. A strong core can improve posture, stability, and balance.

  • Increased flexibility: Pilates can help to improve flexibility, particularly in the hips and spine.

  • Improved muscle tone: Pilates can help to tone and strengthen the muscles, resulting in a longer, leaner appearance.

  • Improved posture: Pilates can help to improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support the spine and helping to align the body correctly.

  • Low impact: Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise, which means it is easy on the joints and can be a good option for people with joint issues or injuries.

If you don’t have a pilates studio nearby, try an online Pilates class like one of the ones below:


4. Jump in the pool!


Getting in the pool and swimming a couple of laps may seem like a straightforward way to spice up your exercise routine, but actually, there are a couple of pointers to know beforehand. Plan out your intervals before you jump in to work on either speed or endurance. It can also be helpful to know the lingo to know the difference between an 8x50 (8 times swimming back and forth) and a 4x25 (4 times swimming the length of the pool). Swimming has a number of benefits, including:

  • Full-body workout: Swimming works a number of different muscle groups, including the arms, shoulders, back, legs, and core. This makes it a great option for a full-body workout.

  • Low impact: Swimming is a low-impact exercise, which means it is easy on the joints and can be a good option for people with joint issues or injuries.

  • Calorie burning: Swimming can be an effective way to burn calories and lose weight.

5. Find a bouldering gym!


Bouldering is a great way to rock climb with little risk! Bouldering gyms feature climbing walls only 15 feet high, so no ropes are necessary. Bouldering has a number of benefits, including:

  • Full-body workout: Bouldering involves a number of different muscle groups, including the arms, shoulders, back, legs, and core. This makes it a great option for a full-body workout.

  • Improved upper body strength: Bouldering can help to build strength in the upper body, including the arms, shoulders, and back.

  • Improved coordination: Bouldering requires coordination and balance, which can help to improve these skills.

  • Increased self-confidence: Bouldering can help to boost self-confidence as you learn new skills and achieve new goals.

  • Social interaction: Bouldering can be a social activity, as it is often done in groups.


6. Play a game of pickleball!


Pickleball has recently risen to fame within the fitness community. It’s a game that is similar to tennis and can easily be played on a tennis court. Plus, the game has been found to be a major calorie burner. Some of the other benefits of pickleball include:

  • Improved physical fitness: Pickleball is a great way to improve your cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength. It requires quick movements and agility, which can help to increase your overall fitness level

  • Increased coordination and hand-eye coordination: The back-and-forth nature of pickleball requires players to have good hand-eye coordination and coordination between their hands and feet.

  • Social interaction: Pickleball is often played in a social setting, which can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

  • Fun: Above all, pickleball is a fun game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a great way to spend time with friends and family and have a good time.

7. Try some disc golf!


You might think of disc golf as a boring sport that has to be done on a disc golf course, but you would be wrong! All you really need to play disc golf is a frisbee and some space outdoors. To demark the "baskets" used on a disc golf course to demark goals, simply choose a tree or other stationary object and have that be the point of aim. The game is a great way to get outside and spend time with friends or family. Disc golf has several other benefits, including:

  • Improved physical fitness: Disc golf requires physical activity and can help to improve your cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility.

  • Stress relief: Like other sports and physical activities, playing disc golf can be a great way to relieve stress and relax. The combination of being outdoors and engaging in physical activity can help to improve your mood and reduce stress.

  • Social interaction: Disc golf is often played in a social setting, which can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

  • Low cost: Disc golf can be played for a relatively low cost compared to other sports, as it requires minimal equipment.

  • Accessibility: Disc golf courses can be found in many parks and open spaces, making it a readily accessible activity for many people.

  • Fun: Above all, disc golf is a fun and enjoyable activity that can be played by people of all ages and skill levels.


Starting the new year with a new fitness routine is a great way to help you stick to your New Year’s Resolutions and enjoy it in the process. Just remember that if your 2023 resolutions are centered around weight loss, it’s impossible to meet your goals without also changing your dietary habits.


To learn more about the Johnson's Center, click here to contact us! If you have any more questions about your path to optimal health, email our office at thejohnsoncenter@gmail.com or call 276-235-3205.


The Johnson Center for Health services patients in-person in our Blacksburg and Virginia Beach / Norfolk locations. We also offer telemedicine for residents of Virginia and North Carolina!


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