Five Ways to Switch Up Your Workout Routine

July 14, 2020
Women Jogging

Sticking to the same workout routine day in and day out may not only result in a performance plateau, in which your body adjusts to the demands of your workouts, it can also lose its excitement! One way to spark motivation is by incorporating new exercises into your weekly routine. If you’re looking to reinvigorate your workout and your overall mood about the task itself, we’ve gathered a list of five exercises that will leave you feeling fit and fantastic.


Run Sprints 

When it comes to running, slow and steady may win the race, but fast and fleeting increases stamina, burns more calories in a shorter amount of time and boosts your metabolism! Perfect for those days when you need to workout in a time crunch, just 15 minutes of sprinting can equate to an hour of high intensity cardio. To incorporate these short bursts of energy into your workout routine, start by sprinting for a total of 10 minutes and then gradually increase the length of time. Within these initial 10 minutes, aim to do 10 rounds of sprints. The goal is to run as fast as you can for 15 to 20 yards, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat! Not only can sprints positively impact muscle growth, heart health and weight loss, studies show that sprints may also help calm your mind as levels of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, drop. 


Play Tennis 

Portola Springs Community Park

Portola Springs Community Park

Did you know that playing tennis is one of the best total body workouts you can get? Categorized as a high-intensity interval training workout, playing tennis works the lower body, upper body and core, and can burn between 400 to 1,000 calories an hour! Incorporating two to three days of tennis a week into your workout routine can boost your stamina, coordination, agility, balance, flexibility and more. With lighted tennis courts located throughout the Villages of Irvine, including Portola Springs Community Park, Eastwood Neighborhood Park and the Resort at the Groves, you can avoid the peak summer heat, while still breaking a sweat and, most importantly, having fun! 


Go on a Hike

Bommer Canyon

Bommer Canyon 

Another way to exercise both your body and your mind, is by going on a hike! While a walk around the block provides its own set of benefits, taking a stroll on uneven terrain escalates your heart rate and metabolic rate, thus burning more calories with every step. In comparison to walking on a flat surface, hiking is shown to increase the amount of energy your body uses by 28 percent, engage different muscles and strengthen hips, knees and ankles. Home to some of Orange County’s most beautiful hikes, Irvine’s Open Space Preserve provides endless opportunity to exercise outdoors, including: 

  • Orchard Hills Trail: Located conveniently close to various neighborhoods throughout Orchard Hills, this trail passes through steep hills with views that stretch as far as Los Angeles and San Pedro. 
  • Quail Hill Trail: Just minutes away from Barcelona Irvine Spectrum, Quail Hill offers a variety of hikes for different experience levels. Popular for families and dog-friendly, the two-mile Quail Hill Loop is a natural surface trail that features small hills, wild bird sightings and even an observation point with 360-degree views. If you’re looking for a more strenuous trail, guided hikes are available on a registration basis. 
  • Bommer Canyon: Offering views of sycamore- and oak-filled groves, Bommer Canyon provides a combination of challenging guided hikes and self-guided hikes. Open to the public from dusk to dawn, you can choose from the 0.5-mile Bommer Meadow, the 1-mile Nature Loop and the 0.5-mile Bommer Pass, which features mild elevation changes.


Do Yoga In the Park

Woman doing Yoga

Photo Courtesy of Trip Savvy

With 268 parks in Irvine, you’re an average of 172 steps away from your own personal “green retreat.” Incorporating yoga into your fitness routine can help you build muscle and increase flexibility, while improving your overall health and well-being. Just grab a yoga mat or blanket, search up a yoga video on YouTube and awaken your inner yogi. 

If you prefer to workout in a group setting, donation-based morning yoga is held at the Mike Ward Community Park throughout the week: 

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-10:15 a.m.
  • Saturdays, 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Sundays, 10-11:15 a.m.

Open to all ages and levels of experience, each socially distanced class incorporates a variety of stretches, breathwork and meditation to help you flow into your day. Bring your own mat or blanket, and if this is your first time doing yoga, lean in to trying something new! 


Go Swimming 

Crestview Park

Crestview Park

Swimming is another excellent workout for your entire body, which has low impact on your bones and joints! A great way to stay cool while engaging your legs, upper body and core, swimming also strengthens your heart and lungs, and may help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar. Similar to sprints, effective workouts should consist of primarily shorter, interval-based swim sets with a 30-second rest between each. Start with the goal of swimming 50 yards (to one side of a Junior Olympic-sized pool and back), 10 to 20 times with 30-second rests throughout.

With pools located throughout each Village, such as the Reserve’s Crestview Park which is open on a temporary reservation basis, you can get a great workout while utilizing the resort-style amenities. If you prefer a small group setting, you can also reserve a spot for lap swimming, water aerobics and water walking classes at the Portola Springs Community Center.

Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to gather inspiration! If you’re looking to inspire more than just your workout routine, the Villages of Irvine may provide just the change in scenery you need. Offering more than a new home, but a lifestyle, get to know all seven of our Villages today to find the right one for you and your family!

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