Okay, today is the first week of your new workout plan. For the next six weeks you are going to stick to the routine, you are amped and ready to get back into shape, woo hoo!
Three weeks later you wake up for your early morning gym session. You roll out of bed and force yourself to go to the gym and continue the monotonous routine you started, but boy is starting to get boring.
The good news is that working out does not have to be redundant. Here are some tips and tricks to make your fitness journey more enjoyable and fun!
- Good music will get you through it Music is the heartbeat of a workout, so take some time to come up with a fun, fast paced playlist to get your sweat on. Soundcloud has some pretty cool track lists to get you started. ASICS Gel Quantum 360 recently dropped an awesome “Go Run It” playlist on SoundCloud that I really enjoy. Some artists I love listening to in the gym are, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kanye, Katy Perry, Passion Pit, and James Brown.
- Dress the part – I am not sure about everyone else, but when I have the gear I feel like I can play the part. Fun, colorful, and comfortable workout clothes make your hour or two at the gym a bit more bearable. Some people have even said that wearing bright clothes to the gym lifts their mood. Who knew that looking like a highlighter could be so beneficial? If you look like you have jumped in a puddle during your workouts (like me), make sure you get your hands on some dry-fit gear. I have discovered quality and fun workout clothing at places like Target, TJMaxx, and Forever 21. Also be sure to find some cool workout shoes that are supportive and safe for cross training. Do not forget to speak to a sales associate for advice while trying to find the best shoes for you.
- There’s an app for everything– My favorite is the Nike + Training Club app! It is completely free and effortless if you have problems coming up with new work outs each day. This app stands out because it provides you with timed workouts and videos to show you exactly how to do each exercise. You can even incorporate your own tunes as you beast through a session. If you are a fitness novice looking to get motivated, Endomonodo by Under Armour is a great way to get your daily push. Other popular apps are Spring, Runtastic Six Pack Abs, WOD Deck of Cards, and Sworkit.
- Get friendly! – Time with friends is time well spent…who cares if you are gasping for air and sweating like pigs? Pairing up with a buddy will definitely bring some fun to your workouts. You can also hold each other accountable and be encouraging during your gym time. It is a comforting feeling to know that someone is on a fitness mission with you.
- Be realistic– The first step to enjoying your workout is setting realistic goals. If you cannot make it to the gym 5 days a week, that is completely okay! Try three days, and stick to your schedule. Not everyone can do 100 sit ups and push-ups starting out, so give yourself a chance to be a beginner. Many people make the mistake of doing too much for their comfort levels. There is a huge difference between pushing yourself and discouraging continued growth. Start small, you will only get better. I promise!
- Listen to a good book – Fun doesn’t always have to be loud and thumping. If your version of fun is curling up with a good book, why not listen to an audio book at the gym? If you are a student, record a lecture and listen to it while you are getting some low impact cardio in. The time will fly by, and you will have a head start on your next exam.
- Switch it up! – There are so many ways to work up a sweat so explore as many options as you like. Find some classes in your area, some gyms even have classes that are included in your membership fee! Some of my favorites are step aerobics, yoga, and more recently cycling classes! I love the enthusiasm of everyone in my classes, and the teachers are there to be sure that you have a positive experience. Hop off of that treadmill sometimes and find a trail, a pool, a class, there are so many fun workout options.
- Do NOT weigh yourself– I think this is my number one rule for fitness beginners and veterans. Do not torture your mind by staring at a scale…you are so much more than a number on a scale! Most people want instant results, but if you are eating right and working out on a manageable schedule, you will probably only lose about one to two healthy pounds a week. Weighing yourself everyday will make you go crazy, so maybe you could try weighing yourself every three weeks (if you insist). Also remember that when you gain muscle, your weight may increase…so in the end your health and how you feel about yourself is what is most important.
- Post your journey – You never know who you are inspiring, so go ahead and post that gym pic! This way your friends and family can leave encouraging comments, and you may even motivate someone else to hop up and get moving. This is also a great way for you to keep track of your progress. Two months down the road compare a recent and old photo. You will be shocked to see changes! Instagram can serve as your visual fitness diary, and people around you tend to notice changes in your body before you do.
BONUS TIP! Remember, fitness is not a punishment, it is a gift! – Setting aside a few days out of your week to work out and get your blood flowing will serve as wonderful “you time”. That hour or two that you spend working on yourself is a great example of self-love. Fitness really is fun, so instead of hating your sweat session, give yourself a pat on the back! You are doing a wonderful thing for your health.