Written by Marlon Cereca, Nutrition Staff at Camp Shane
Working out could be your favorite part of the day or your least favorite, but there are always ways to make your workouts more enjoyable. Here are 7 tips on how to make completing those challenging weight loss workouts easier, so you can keep pushing yourself closer towards your weight loss goals.
- Set Concrete Numbers for Your Workouts
Setting concrete goals for your exercises can keep you highly accountable for your effort. Setting guidelines such as “run for 1 hour” or “do cardio for 30 minutes” can be dangerous. It’s easy to stop midway through the set, take multiple breaks, and end up doing significantly less exercise. Set numbers that you know will be challenging so that you can burn more calories and/or reach fatigue, and thus build more muscle. This could apply to “running 2 miles,” “doing 50 squats,” or “completing 7 bench presses.”
Specific numbers of repetitions make it easier to visualize your activity. You will be able to visualize how effective certain activities may or may not be and make alterations to your workouts from there. Reaching challenging numbers is very rewarding, and should give the motivation to keep pushing for higher goals!
- Strive for Even Higher Numbers
Say your goal is to do 30 push-ups in one sitting. If you set your mind on reaching 50 push-ups instead, you may get to 30 repetitions before you know it. 20 push-ups may not sound like much, but pushing yourself to break your personal records will not only help you achieve more during your work out, but it will make it feel more fulfilling.
- Keep it Realistic
Do not expect yourself to complete an intense workout right when you begin exercising. As with anything else in life, you will only become proficient at something if you train at it. Other people may be able to run farther than you or lift heavier weight than you because they have invested hundreds, or even thousands, of hours into training. It takes time to build sufficient cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength. Do not become discouraged if certain activities come across as difficult. Remember, weight loss is a journy, trust the process!
- Pace Yourself with Your Favorite Music
Depending on your type of workout, try killing time through energizing music. Considering that an average song is around 3 minutes, you could make a playlist that lasts for a 30-minute run. Other ideas include taking water breaks after every couple of songs or telling yourself not to stop until your current song finishes!
- Change the Variety of Your Workouts
Doing the same activities every time you step into the gym can get monotonous and dull very easily. Your workouts should be effective and push you towards your weight loss goals, but it’s also important to have fun and enjoy yourself while working out. Search on YouTube and the rest of the internet for ways to spice up your workouts plans. Try new activities, such as gym classes possibly, and incorporate different muscle groups on different days.
- Change the Intensity of Your Workouts
It is important to realize that your body needs to reach fatigue in order to develop new muscle. Your body literally breaks down when you work out and then builds back even stronger. Thus, if you are looking to become stronger and a workout session seems fairly comfortable for you, this may be a sign to pick up the intensity. In other words, doing the same workout can create some progress at first, but you will eventually plateau while staying at that same level of intensity.
In addition, there may be times when you may need to lower the intensity. Going hard for 5-7 days a week places much toll on the body. Don’t be afraid to take rest days. An alternative can be to just do light workouts. However, the body needs time to recharge here and there, and no gains can be made unless the body has rest time to build new muscle.
- Surround Yourself with Motivation
It can be very easy to get lost in the process of exercising, lose motivation, and become inconsistent. Always remember why you started your weight loss journey in the first place. Use those reasons to drive you to stay motivated, do the extra reps, and complete your workouts. Ingrain into your mind that, “You can do this!” Building a “New You” is not supposed to be quick or easy. Embrace the process, and realize that every workout, every little improvement, is a small step toward the end goal.