Working out isn’t supposed to be easy. If it is, that’s a clear sign you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. Of course, it shouldn’t be a major obstacle either, or else you’ll start trying anything in your power to avoid hitting the box.
So, how do you try to strike a balance between getting in an intensive, effective workout, while also feeling uplifted and positive about coming back? Try incorporating some of these methods into your routine.
#1. Recruit a Friend
Instead of getting into a workout routine alone, try bringing along a friend. This will help make your workout significantly easier. Plus, if you and friend workout together regularly, you help encourage one another to keep it up, and are both more likely to keep going back. Why does this help? It’s because of a phenomenon that researchers dubbed “rower’s high.”
Data on the pain tolerance of competitive rowers demonstrates that individuals engaged in physical activity in a group experienced a more euphoric effect compared to individual action. It’s like the experience of laughing or dancing—it’s just more fun in a group setting than alone.
#2. Have a Cup of Coffee
Coffee before your workout seems counterintuitive. After all, you already know about why you should drink water before your workout, as well as the benefits of other supplements, but coffee? Believe it or not, drinking a cup of regular coffee in the morning or before you start exercising can help burn fat, preserve muscle tissue, improve your circulation, and boost your endurance.
It’s important to remember, though, not to overdo it. Too much caffeine can also have a negative effect on your body. Drinking caffeine after your exercise will inhibit the chemical in your body that helps your muscles recover and rebuild.
#3. Listen to Music
Between the aching muscles, sweat stinging your eyes, and the time you could be spending doing anything else, working out isn’t always the most enticing prospect. However, you can make the practice much more enjoyable by adding something you love: your favorite music.
Research shows that people tend to enjoy their workout much more when they’re listening to music. Not only that, but listening to upbeat, lively music can subconsciously lead you to boost your exertion level while exercising. So, figure out a playlist of your favorite inspirational or energizing songs, and incorporate it into your routine.
#4. Reward Yourself
Entice yourself into hitting the box by giving yourself something to look forward to after you get home. You may allow yourself a small treat if you meet certain goals during your workout; for example, if you manage to beat a personal record, you can reward yourself with a small piece of rich chocolate.
You can also promise yourself a hot, relaxing bath post-workout. This will have other ancillary benefits as well, such as helping your body adjust to the heat to perform better in hot weather.
Maybe baths and chocolates aren’t your thing, though. Either way, find something that will work as a personal reward and then indulge yourself as a reward for a job well-done.