Stuck in a workout rut? Try adding these essentials to boost your workout, your burn, and your results!
1. Music! The more upbeat, the better. Studies show that people who exercise to music that is loud and has upbeat tempo perform better while running on the treadmill. Additionally, music may help decrease the perceived exertion of lower intensity exercises, such as walking or jogging.
2. Water. This may be a no-brainer for most, but how often do you forget to bring your water bottle, or see others at the gym without one? Experts recommend 8 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise.
3. A friend. Some people prefer to exercise alone, and that's ok! But if you feel like your motivation to get to the gym is slipping, try tagging along with a friend. Knowing you are there with someone else can boost feelings of accountability and well-being.
4. A snack 1-2 hours ahead. Often when people start exercise programs, it is with the desire to lose some weight. Coupled with that plan is usually an intention to cut calories. Cutting back too drastically, or not spacing your meals and snacks out regularly, can result in low energy and a subpar workout. Snacking on a bit of protein and complex carbohydrates 1-2 hours before you workout can be a great pick-me-up. Try half an apple with 1tpsb almond butter, a cheese stick and a 1/2 serving of whole grain crackers, or 1 ounce of almonds with 1/2 cup of blueberries.
5. Coffee. Caffeine is a known performance enhancer, and as little as one cup can help you feel more energized for a good workout!
6. A towel. If you are worried about sweating, you may hold back on your efforts. Bring a clean towel with you so you can wipe the sweat up without worry. Sweat is good!
7. Netflix or Hulu. Or some other ability to watch TV. If your biggest challenge to working out is being bored, try engaging in something that doesn't bore you while you workout! You could even try reading!
8. A minimum goal. If you are used to exercising for a certain amount of time but are starting to lose momentum, try setting a new minimum time requirement. For example, if you are used to exercising for an hour, try adjusting it to a 20 minute minimum and see if you can get more done in that 20 minutes, or make those minutes count more.
9. A new routine. Your body gets bored just like your brain! Try mixing it up with classes, new machines, or new routines.
10. A cool down. Too often we plan on spending all of our time at the gym actually exercising, and don't include a cool down. Cool downs, such as stretching, can help you and your body wind down. Not to mention, stretching can be a really good reward for a hard workout! Try not to fall asleep on the mat.