Do you work out? How often do you look forward to time spent exercising? Could you use some motivation to have more frequent and enjoyable workouts?
Most of us entertain the thought of working out and getting in shape, but few of us actually initiate exercise, and perhaps fewer enjoy their time working out. Here are 5 tips to help you enjoy exercising:
1. Ask a friend or family member to work out with you.
Asking a friend or family member to join you in your workout can help keep you accountable or can simply be good company. Think about it the next time you are considering skipping out on the gym.
2. Eat little directly before your workouts, perhaps some fruit or cereal, but enjoy looking forward to a healthy, satiating meal afterwards, especially after intense workouts.
Nourishment with a good source of protein and fueling carbohydrates can help build muscle and give you long lasting energy, respectively. Enjoy your food, but try to avoid large pre-exercise meals and rather enjoy a post-exercise meal with a balanced portion from all food groups. Stay hydrated throughout the day, with water, and consider a sports drink for extra energy (if you can) while working out.
3. Remember to include stretching before (and possibly after) your workouts. This includes both static and dynamic stretching, in order to get your body’s oxygen flowing.
Stretching helps release endorphins, or “happy chemicals,” and can help alleviate possible feelings of stress and depression. It is recommended to use dynamic stretching, or stretching with quick, rapid movements to warm up the body before a workout and static stretching, or stretching with longer, held poses after a workout to help promote relaxation of muscles.
Use care if you are not as flexible, but keep to stretching to help promote that “feel-good” feeling to keep you coming back to the gym.
4. Push yourself during a workout when you are feeling good enough, but without feeling pain. If running, add in walk breaks. You will feel endorphins collect during walk breaks, or after a workout, that will leave a positive, relaxing memory of your workout and leave you craving more.
Importantly, each person has to work within their own limits when it comes to working out. Having a good workout means pushing yourself when you are feeling strong and capable. If you feel pain, or have other hesitations, this might not apply to you. However, regular and at times intense exercise can keep you craving to go to the gym again largely because of the positive, strengthening and relaxing feelings that are promoted often after the workout.
5. Ease into initial workouts when starting up after a long rest period. If you’ve been a regular at the gym, set up increasingly more challenging goals so you feel like you’re achieving more.
If you find yourself skipping a row of exercise days, you may need to ease back into a regular routine. If you are a regular gym-goer, then consider a fun activity such as an organized run, recreational sport or lessons to keep you socially entertained and active. For example, a 10K with a friend or swimming lessons might be enjoyable.
Whether you’re new to working out or always a fitness guru, try to build in exercise and a tasty and nutritious diet so you’re excited by the idea of being healthy. Hopefully, these 5 tips can keep you on track to meet your fitness goals!!
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com