Whether you’re an avid gym-goer or made a resolution to work out more, making the most of your gym time is beneficial to everyone. However, it might be easier said than done, especially for those who are newly interested in fitness. To help make your workouts more efficient, start with these 5 tips:
#1: Find Workouts That Are Fun
Part of what might be keeping you from the gym is lack of inspiration or dreading your workouts, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of running or walking on the treadmill every day, followed by weightlifting routines you know by heart. But don’t forget, there are virtually endless exercises and fitness styles that you can try until you find something that really piques your interest. Luckily in the age of social media and constant internet access, there are plenty of resources for research and ideas.
If you need some inspiration, start with these ideas:
#2: Eat the Rights Foods
If you find yourself feeling tired and lethargic after a long day’s work at the office, you aren’t alone. However, that shouldn’t stop you from going to the gym between work and home. Instead, make sure you’ve packed proper snacks to give yourself the energy boost you need to fit your workout in. Just like your car needs oil to run, your body needs nutrients. Need some inspiration? Here are few pre-workout snack ideas that will help fuel you through even the toughest exercises:
- An apple with almond butter
- Berries and a cup of yogurt
- Hard boiled eggs
- Protein shake
- Fresh fruit
- Energy bites
- Rice cakes with peanut butter
If you’re going to eat within 45 minutes of going to the gym, you should make sure whatever you choose is something that’s easy to digest. With the right food in your system you’ll feel ready to take on the challenge instead of letting your tiredness get the best of you.
If your lethargy is due to being deficient in certain nutrients, you might consider a dietary supplement. But one note of caution—if you’re going to use them, make sure you find a trusted brand like Objective supplements.
#3: Warm Up & Cool Down
If your warm ups and cool downs are lacking, it might be holding you back from reaching your full workout potential—and putting you at risk of an injury. Both warming up and cooling down are often overlooked by even the most dedicated fitness lovers but they are essential, not only for your well-being but to get your best possible workout.
Warming up specifically helps you get your blood pumping, your muscles warmed up, and your body ready to move at peak performance. You can even incorporate HIIT moves or yoga into your warm up routine. As for your cool down, you want to take at least 5 to 10 minutes to make sure you stretch your main muscle groups (which can help elongate your body and make you more flexible) and bring your heart rate down.
#4: Schedule Your Workouts
If you have a busy schedule that consistently interferes with your plans to hit the gym, you need to be more proactive about making time for your workouts. Whether you put a note on your phone’s calendar or carry a planner with you at all times, it’s easy to schedule your gym time ahead so that it’s harder for you to cancel on yourself or make conflicting arrangements.
At the end of the day, it’s all about being organized and holding yourself accountable in making your fitness a priority. If you have days of the week that are always busier than others or have running appointments, choose four or five days a week and carve out time on those days to fit in exercise, even if you do it home or in between commitments.
#5: Recalibrate Your Playlist
One of the most frustrating interruptions during workouts is having to constantly mess with your phone to find the right music to keep you moving. Instead of wasting time hitting skip and pausing your workout, recalibrate your playlist to feature songs that will keep you motivated throughout your entire workout. If you’re lacking inspiration or don’t have time to update your current gym music, looking to your favorite streaming service like Spotify, which has many user-generated workout playlists featuring all genres.
Now you’re ready to conquer the challenges that have been holding your workouts back and make your gym time truly worthwhile.