If you’ve ever struggled with finding the motivation to exercise (and who hasn’t it?), then there’s no doubt you want to avoid a workout that wastes your time. Of course, getting up and moving in any way is better than not moving at all–so it’s pretty impossible to exercise without some benefit. However, if you want to get the most bang for your exercising buck, then it’s time to put these five fitness tips to work.
- Switch It Up: If you have a monogamous relationship with your elliptical, it’s time to break up and play the field. That doesn’t mean
you have to end things completely, but the more you do the same exercise routine over and over, the more your body will see what’s coming and quit giving you the results toward which you’ve been working. Try to swap out a couple of workouts in your week with something completely different.
- Get Excited: OK, so an hour in your sneakers might not get the same enthusiasm as say a night out with the girls or a weekend away on a sunny beach. But there are ways to get fired up. For example, skip the drinks with the ladies and go take a fun new dance class together. Heck, just going out dancing is an improvement from sitting in a booth with drinks and bar food. You could also try new workout clothes. Who doesn’t feel better in a new outfit? Last, if you know that the work you’re doing is going to help you reach a goal, that’s could be all the perk you need. Set a realistic goal when you need a pick me up.
- Find the Right Time: Many people tout the benefits of working out first thing in the morning (even us!), but if you’re just not able to get up with the sun, find a time that works for you. If you tend to have more energy when you leave work, hit the gym on the way home or skip the car traffic and go for a self-powered commute on your bike. It’s better to exercise at a time when you can put in your best effort, no matter what time the clock reads.
- Add Weights: Strength training builds muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more effective your body can be at burning fat in a resting state. If the weight room at the gym feels intimidating, don’t go there. There are all kinds of ways to add weight training to your workout, some without ever touching a dumbbell, kettlebell, or barbell. Your own bodyweight can act as all the resistance training you need–think TRX, pushups and pullups, or yoga. If you do want to pump iron, find a lifting buddy to show you the ropes, hire a personal trainer for a tutorial, or just give it a try and learn as you go.
- Jot It Down: Keep a log of your workouts. It may seem like a tedious way to exercise, but not only will it accurately show you the progress you’re making, but it will help you to take each sweat session to a higher level. That may mean lifting heavier weights, doing more reps, taking a route that has more hills, or trying something new when entries appear to be duplicating themselves.
Kudos to you for dedicating yourself toward getting healthier. Use your time wisely and you’ll see results each and every time you workout.
What is your favorite way to workout? Tell us in the comments!