Just as the summer heats up to scorching temps, we can’t help but wish we could bring the same heat to our workouts.
Working out is fun, especially when we see results. After a while though, burn out can get the best of us. Our routine becomes monotonous and it begins to feel mundane that we have to do everyday.
How can we make the the most of our workouts and keep the spark in our routines?
Below are 3 easy-to-try tips.
Playing Mind Games Isn’t Always Bad
Perhaps the easiest sounding tip may actually be one of the hardest to implement. Mind over matter can make a world of a difference when putting in 200% on the elliptical or dead-lifting the weight of a baby elephant.
So, what are some things you can do to keep mentally on top of your workouts?
Don’t Be Afraid of Social Media
Usually, humble-bragging about your gains is a total social faux-pass….but it doesn’t have to be! Track your favorite exercise and fitness related tags and groups, and find your #workoutmotivation tribe. Get inspired by challenges you find through Instagram tags (try our #Transformation tags) or even make new friends using the FitBit app social function (this exists in the app on your mobile device!).
You could even start a separate social account or blog where you post specifically about your goals and progress, so your non-interested friends aren’t bogged down.
But how can social media help get you in the mental zone, especially when it seems that it could emotionally drain you sometimes?
Well, finding a group with like-minded goals can help you stay attentive to your workouts.
Just imagine this:
You’re on minute 20 of your 30-minute cardio session and you’re ready to throw in the towel. But then you remember your group is awaiting a photo of your post-workout smile. That’s enough to power you through!
It doesn’t have to be all sunshine and rainbows though. After all, a University of Pennsylvania study suggests that competition can be a far more motivating factor in working out than compared to friendly-support.
If that’s the case, gear up with a tracking device and get more steps than anyone in your group!
Make Your Perfect Soundtrack
Have you ever been grocery shopping while the store is continuously playing musical bops? And then your favorite song comes on and suddenly the bread aisle becomes a catwalk that you just need to strut down? Just us? We don’t think so!
Actually, clothing stores and other retailers do that on purpose. The right kind of music can make you feel happy and more likely to open your wallet. That’s especially why you start hearing Christmas music towards the end of October.
You can apply that same trick to your workouts! Feel like you’re in a movie montage with your favorite energizing songs. Want to feel majestic? Play some Game of Thrones score music. Play some Whitney Houston, play some ocean sounds, whatever will help get you through! We won’t judge!
Okay, these tips are good and dandy, but what changes can be made to your actual routines?
Don’t worry, we hear you!
Break Out The Toys
No, we’re not saying to scour your child’s toy box. We’re talking exercise equipment!
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), kettle bells can support a more productive workout. The study was implemented through the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science.
30 relatively-fit participants were placed in two different groups (experimental and controlled). Both were given extensive training on how to properly use the equipment.
After all, that’s really important. You should never use equipment without that knowledge–you could seriously hurt yourself. Even if you don’t get hurt, misuse could derail your intended results.
But back to the study!
After preliminary training and testing of the group’s abilities, the experimental group took routine kettle bell classes, led by certified trainers.
And what did they find?
They were able to support increases in aerobic capacity, dynamic balance and core strength — all from just integrating kettle bells in to their workouts! Although, it is worth mentioning that a certified trainer was present during the sessions. They received professional help regularly, which may not be the case for some of us.
Still, these results are pretty cool. Try integrating different weights to boost results.
Timers and Stopwatches
These are lot easier on your bank accounts, but they can be just as handy. Using a stopwatch could help you try high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
This type of training is all the rage these days and for good reason.
So, what is it exactly?
HIIT is a type of training where you switch up high-octane exercises in short bursts, rather than dragging out a moderately-paced exercise for a longer time.
For example, HIIT could mean a 15 to 20 minute circuit of high-intensity burpees and leg-climbers, rather than spending 45 minutes running on the treadmill.
Research shows that HIIT could be highly effective and is actually more cost-effective in terms of time.
Trying new routines and toys at the gym can help take your routine to the next level, but what else can you do to level up?
Provide Your Body with Necessary Fuel
Food is fuel. Sometimes we don’t think about it that way, but our bodies run on what we choose to nourish it with. That becomes increasingly clear when we eat things like super-loaded, extra cheesy nachos and feel icky afterward.
What we eat directly affects our workouts. That could often be the missing puzzle piece for those wondering why they aren’t seeing results from their daily sessions.
Prepare for the Circle of Exercise Life
Fuel up, exercise, rest, recover, repeat — it’s the circle of life! You’ll need a plan that works well with you and a diet that not only promotes fueling up to tear it up in the gym, but also one that allows your body to rest up, so tomorrow could be just as good.
This can be really hard to pull of, so you’ll want to ensure your diet allows for this.
Needs some help?
We created our Core 4 – Athletes solely for this purpose. Core 4 provides 4 perfect essentials for any workout regimen, from start to finish.
Smash your goals with help from superfoods and phtyonutrients:
- MVP Sport Chocolate – Helps build lean muscle and burn fat
- Super Amino 23 – Helps minimize body fat and assists with muscle strength volume and endurance recovery
- Super Xanthin – Helps protect muscle tissue from damage and improve athletic recovery time
- Can’t Beet This! – Supports a natural source of energy with beets
What else can you do to power up your workouts?
Load Up on Greens
Green-work makes the dream work! Maybe that’s not the exact phrase, but you get the picture.
Leafy veggies contain phytonutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and so much more. Adding more to your diet could help you with weight loss and energy…but it might also help boost your workouts to the next level.
Veggie-consumption can help lessen free radical damage. Free radicals can build-up in your DNA when stress is put on your body. Exercise can be stressful enough to increase these numbers.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that leafy greens-consumption could help protect the body from the damage. Researchers from Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Ulster studied blood samples of participants before and after eating greens.
The beneficial antioxidants increased when eating greens (specifically watercress, in this study). They also found that the protective effects kicked in as soon as participants started ingesting the watercress. The researchers suggested that this could mean eating greens two hours before exercise could be just as beneficial as eating greens weeks before.
More research is needed for that last part, but hey, we love hearing good news about greens!
Now, Get Out There!
It’s always important to stick to a routine your comfortable with. Give one of our tips a try and let us know how it’s going in the comments below!