There's nothing more discouraging than believing you have to give up pleasure in your workout routines to get fitter. Fortunately, it isn’t true.
Plus, that approach doesn't work anyway. Instead of pursuing grim, boring self-denial, adopt more enjoyable strategies:
Perform the real activity in your cardio workout routines rather than the gym imitation
Whenever possible, ride your bike outdoors or climb a steep trail instead of using a stationary bike or stairclimber. It's the best way to become more agile, graceful and sure-footed and less injury-prone. You can also play your way to a better body. Race the dog or jump rope and you might rediscover the child in you while making physical activity fun again.
Freshen up your treadmill session in your cardio workout
Intervals are one way to make time fly and burn more calories, but another option is to turn your cardio workout routines into a game. Place a set of dumbbells or a resistance tube next to the treadmill before you begin. Grab some dice and pause the treadmill every 3 minutes to hop off and roll. Double the number you throw and do that many reps of each of the following moves (so if you throw an 8, you'd do 16 reps): push-ups, side lunges, and bicycle crunches. Get on the treadmill for 3 minutes and then pause it again, roll the dice and do jump squats, triceps dips and rows.
[header = Workout tips for adding fun to your weight lifting routines and much more.]
Check out three more workout tips that will put excitement and pleasure back into your workout routines.
Jazz up your weight lifting routine
Dumbbells and weight machines aren't the only tools that provide resistance, so broaden your horizons in your weight lifting routine. In fact, you can broaden them all the way out of the gym:
- Just find a flight of stairs and let gravity turn your body into a workout tool to be reckoned with.
- Climbing a steep incline at a fast pace can provide the same amount of resistance you'd get from doing leg moves in the weight room.
- Find a staircase with at least three flights.
- Then tie a resistance band around your waist and run up and down for 2 minutes.
- Next, do 10 reps each of incline pushups (with your feet on the floor and your hand on a step) and bent-over rows with the resistance band.
Be your own best motivator during your fitness workouts
Working with a trainer is like having a personal cheerleader. To become your own coach, start by doing a little homework. Make a motivational collage from magazine clippings and photos. Whether it's an energizing slogan or a picture of a gorgeous beach getaway, choose images that make you want to exercise and be healthy.
To stay motivated during your workout routines, visualize finishing the set and talk yourself through the tough spots. When you see how you can succeed and reinforce it with words, you'll find you're able to push yourself like a trainer would. Don't forget to give yourself kudos for a job well done.
This may be the most important of all of our workout tips: Be realistic and patient
Your ideal weight is your weight after six months to one year of eating as well and exercising as much as you reasonably can. It doesn't mean being model-thin. If you change your habits gradually, your body, given time, will also change. The direction in which you move is more important than the size of the step. But whatever you do, keep at it.