There are plenty of reasons to workout: better sleep, less stress, a healthier body less prone to disease, weight loss, strength, confidence—you can take your pick. But when you go to the gym, committed as you may be, are you making the most of it and having a really productive workout? For many reading this the answer is no.
You don’t have to beat yourself up over feeling a little under-motivated to workout. Whenever I struggle with my workouts, it often means I’m not doing enough to make the workouts productive.
To help you make your workouts productive, here are fives things that are easy to implement, which will make for a more effective workout whether you are a fitness beginner or an old-timer like me.
Have An Exercise Plan
The first step is to know what you are doing before you go to begin your workout. According to treadmillreviews.com, “one of the most important things you can do is commit to your workout schedule.” Trying to wing it day-by-day may give you an introduction to some new techniques, but it may not be giving you the results you are hoping for when you committed to workout.
Know what days are cardio versus strength, what you will be doing and for how long can be a great way to not only make your workouts productive but also help you not dread your next workout will become aimless wandering between machines.
Avoid Workout Distractions
We are constantly bombarded with distractions, thanks to our smartphones, which can lead to less ideal workouts. It is important that you hone in on your workouts if you are looking to make them more productive.
So, that text message from your spouse? It can probably wait for a half hour to an hour, especially if they know your workout schedule. That Snapchat notification? It will still be there when you are done with your sets. Avoid checking even when resting between exercises, as it can draw you out of your focused mindset, increase your stress, and take longer than you meant to rest. If you are unable to resist the temptations your phone offers, consider setting it to airplane mode.
Plan For Different Workouts Moods
It’s pretty much impossible to be in the same mood every day as you go to workout. One day you may want to listen to your favorite podcast. Another you could be engrossed in an audiobook you’ve been enjoying. Then another you could feel more like speed metal, or pop music, or Harvard Law lectures.
Whatever you are into, be prepared with plenty of media to consume while you exercise based on what your mood might be at the time. It can really help you zone in on what you are doing and keep you from skipping workouts, which can help prevent some chronic illnesses down the road.
Shake It Up Sometimes
Your plan doesn’t have to be totally inflexible. While you should stick to your workout schedule the majority of the time, you can pursue a different active exercise.
So, if one day you feel like you’d rather go on a hike than hit the gym, give yourself permission to go and enjoy. Or just go paddleboarding with friends instead of that hour-long treadmill run. Fitness should be fun as well as functional and always doing the same thing can burn you out and leave your workouts less productive.
Go With Full Body
I don’t always have a whole lot of time to get my workouts in, and so I sometimes have to jam in what I am able to do in under an hour. Because of that, I choose free weights for my strength routines and high incline treadmill or uphill runs for my cardio. Both work the whole body and do more, in less time, than what I was doing before, and help me feel better about my overall physical condition.
If you want to get more out of your workouts and feel more productive, examine how you can add in another element to make it more full body.
By implementing these five different tips into your current workout plan, you can start enjoying better and more productive workouts starting today.