While the feeling of getting in a good workout always gives us a rush afterwards, actually getting through a workout can sometimes feel more grueling than what we might otherwise appreciate. All the huffing and puffing, sweating, aching limbs, the feeling that you just cannot anymore… It’s really anything but “fun”. Honestly, sometimes it feels like the only thing that keeps us going back to the gym is the way it makes us feel after and in our daily lives.
Or, perhaps your problem is simply diverging from your usual favorite workouts. Maybe you like yoga and hate hitting the treadmill, these tips will help you out with that, too.
What if we told you there really was a way to make workouts feel easier? Well, it’s true. All it takes are these pretty straight-forward tips that will help you breeze through any sweat session with much more ease. While we can’t promise you won’t have moments of distress (hey, we’ve all been there), it’ll be so much easier than making it on sheer willpower – but then again, that’s also necessary.
1. Pre-Workout Nutrition
You can’t bust out moves if your tank is running low. Make sure you have a snack or meal at least 1-3 hours before your workout. No matter what you’re doing – whether it is weight lifting or cardio – it is essential to get in some carbohydrates for more sustained energy levels your body can run on. So many people wonder why they feel like they just can’t keep going anymore, and while it may have to do with strength and fatigue, it may also be because they haven’t bothered to fuel up. The more nutrition your body is running on, the better it will perform and the better your workout will feel. It’s science!
Great pre-workout snack ideas include a banana with peanut butter, an apple (especially if it’s early in the morning), or a yogurt topped with a sprinkling of nuts and/or fruit. If you’re getting in a meal, make sure you eat it at least 2-3 hours before your workout or we promise you won’t feel so well. Oatmeal with your preferred toppings is a great breakfast option and for lunch or dinner you can try a salad topped with kabocha squash and your protein of choice.
Another important thing to note, is that you should also be and stay properly hydrated to feel your best without feeling “sloshy” as you jump around.
2. Mind Set
You’re not going to get anywhere with a horrible mindset and that is a fact. Instead of dreading every workout, try shifting your focus on the positive. How will you feel after your workout as opposed to you will feel if you skip your workout. SO much better, right? Also, if you find yourself dreading hitting the gym, maybe you should ease yourself into a routine first. Start by going only 2-3 x a week as opposed to 7 full days. As you grow to love it, you will find that your workouts become easier and easier by themselves.
In addition, a great trick I like to implement for myself (especially when it comes to cardio *shudder*) is trying to lie to myself. What do I mean by this? Telling myself I only need to get on the treadmill for 10 minutes. Once I’m on there and warmed up, you better believe I almost always feel more inclined to do 10 more minutes, and then another until before I know it, I’ve gotten in at least 30 minutes of running, rowing or elliptical work by hardly trying.
3. The Right Shoes
You would be surprised to know how much your footwear is affecting how your workouts feel. I used to weight train with my running shoes on and I was a little confused by why my squats and lower body work in particular just felt off. Naturally, a trainer pointed me in the right direction of training shoes which are typically much flatter than the support necessary when consistently pounding the pavement. Conversely, if you are running in training shoes with little to no arch or ankle support, you may be wearing yourself (and your feet out). If you have no idea where to even begin to choose the right footwear, just head to your nearest athletic apparel store and associates are almost always more than likely to help you.
4. Working Out With Others
Sometimes, accountability is what is put in question. If you have a hard time sticking to a routine or getting to the gym, the best way to ensure you will get there is by having an accountability buddy that will not put up with your excuses. Whether it’s a friend or a personal trainer is up to you. Can’t find either? Taking group fitness classes is also another way to go. Not only will you be more inclined to attend classes where you don’t feel all eyes are on you, but you will also be able to soak up the energy of others surrounding you. You’ll feel pushed you to match your best to theirs. Also, did we mention how group fitness classes just fly by? Oh yeah, that too.
5. Music & Diversions
Finally, at the most basic level of “fun fitness” is simply sticking your headphones in and blasting the music. Turn on a playlist that inspires you to jump in front of a mirror and shake it because that’s probably about half of what working out at the gym really feels like. You could also turn on the television or bring a magazine to flip through. However, those options are much better suited for long, slow and steady cardio sessions. If you’re trying to amp up intensity but you can still read and images aren’t bouncing up and down, you’re really not working out hard enough. Sorry!
What are some of your easy workout tips?
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