People are working harder, commuting further, and sleeping less. Amidst all this hustle and bustle, we must also find a way to keep momentum on the tracks to our fitness goals. Consistency and perseverance can take you far, but how to achieve them?
Well, throwing in the towel should not be an option. It all starts with small, simple steps that facilitate something life-changing down the road. To jumpstart your progress and avoid common pitfalls, here are some neat hacks to consider.
A bit of stretching every day
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it is surprising how many people actually neglect something as vital as stretching. This simple routine is the bedrock of being fit: It improves your overall health and flexibility, making you better prepared to take on challenges in the gym. Your joints are less likely to suffer from repetitive stress and strain, which means you are also able to steer away from injuries and maximize the workout benefits.
Eat and sleep right
Eating and sleeping habits have a profound impact on your mood, energy levels, health, and fitness performance in general. Getting a good night’s sleep lets your body fully recover, which is to say you can reap maximum workout benefits. Likewise, supplying your body with essential nutrients fills you with enough vigor to endure even the toughest of fitness trials and tribulations.
Let the beats engulf you
Furthermore, make sure to fill your exercise with sound and beats. Listen to a motivating audiobook, play a podcast or put together a playlist of your favorite upbeat tracks. Additionally, download an app called Jog.fm, which plays the music from your library to match the pace of the workout. Note that it is a good idea to make the playlist the exact length that you plan to stay in the gym so that you do not have to glance at the timer. In any event, do not miss a chance to make your workout more exhilarating.
Cardio after the workout
Heart-pumping cardio is the mainstay of many training programs, but it is not the best tactic to warm up. In fact, experts recommend doing it after an intense workout such as lifting weights. The reason is that cardio depletes the glycogen stored in your body fat. As a result, you are left without a primary form of energy and struggle to stay on top of your day-to-day regimen. Therefore, use your muscle fuel wisely and save cardio for the end.
Instead of disconnecting from digital streams, blend fitness routines and the vivid world of technology. Gamify your workout with the help of fun and handy apps. Fitocracy, for instance, is a social community platform, where users “level up” and engage in competitive challenges. You can share your accomplishments with others and make them jealous. And if you find things like exercise bikes tedious, why don’t you play a video game on your mobile device while breaking a sweat?
Working out in a group or with a partner is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it has helped many people get into shape. Basically, you are held accountable by others and have more incentives to maintain your workout routine. Besides, you get a chance to learn plenty of stuff and master the proper technique. This tends to lead to longer, more productive sessions and ultimately improved fitness results. In case you are more of a lone wolf, you could still go for challenges that circulate the web.
Get dressed up
Investing in quality gym equipment and apparel can ramp up motivation significantly. Opt for high-grade clothes that let your skin breathe and soak in the sweat. You can even purchase bodybuilding shoes to pump iron like a pro. Oh, and always pack your gym bag the night before and keep it around at your work or in the car, even if you did not mean to pay your gym a visit. Morning larks should feel free to sleep in their workout clothes and get ready to rise and shine right off the bat.
Adhere to the 10-percent rule
When going about your fitness endeavors, it is incredibly important to pace yourself well. Going overboard can really make you feel drained and miserable. To avoid this predicament, never increase the intensity, duration, or weight by more than 10%. Small, incremental pushes are the key to constant improvement, but your body always needs enough time to adjust and recuperate. That way, you can prevent your muscles from being sore, body from aching, and motivation from plummeting.
Buy fitness gadgets
Shop around for the latest fitness gadgets and wearables. The market is flooded with a multitude of amazing products that can spice up your workout. Activity and health monitors are a great investment as they help you stay on the safe side and motivate yourself. Moreover, exercising with staples like Nike FuelBand and FitBit entices you to challenge yourself each day and make strides towards set goals. These gadgets are capable of tracking your heart rate, sleep patterns, and other crucial metrics.
Stay in tune with your circadian rhythm
Some people swear by morning exercise, while others prefer to descend from their nests when the sun sets. The truth is that energy levels fluctuate throughout the day and their peaks and valleys occur at different hours, varying from person to person. So, make an effort to figure out your circadian rhythm. If you can squeeze the workout into the schedule, do it when you feel bustling with energy, not down in the doldrums.
Take it to the next level
Fit a gym workout into your daily routine and use aforementioned hacks to fine-tune and enhance it. Get your money’s worth in the gym and avoid running out of steam. Brace yourself to kill it and make good use of technology. Find motivation online, in a workout partner, or your list of uplifting jams. Build good habits and a healthy lifestyle around exercising. If you do it right, a gym session seizes to be a chore and becomes a fun, and stress-relieving activity you look forward to.
Peter is a editor-in-chief at HighStyleLife magazine from AU. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.