If you’re like most people, you want to get in shape and exercise more. But when it comes time actually to do the work, you find yourself putting it off or not giving your all. There are many things you can do to help prepare mentally and physically for your workout. Some simple steps will make exercising easier, whether it’s an intense HIIT session or a low-key yoga class.
1. Get your sleep
First and foremost, getting a good night’s rest is essential for preparing yourself mentally. Your body releases the best growth hormones while you’re sleeping, which means you’ll be less sore if you’ve gotten enough shut-eye. Plus, it increases focus and productivity during the day which is an added benefit of exercising. If you struggle to get out of bed when it’s cold and dark outside, try setting multiple alarms or using caffeine to help jolt yourself awake before going into work or school.
In addition, make sure that your phone isn’t disrupting your sleep with late-night notifications from social media apps like Instagram. Turn on “do not disturb” mode at night, and make sure your phone is in airplane mode to avoid any distractions.
2. Understand your stressors
It’s also important to be aware of your stressors and how they might be affecting your workouts. For example, if you’re feeling anxious or stressed out before a workout, that tension might carry over into the physical activity itself. This can lead to muscle stiffness and even pain in some cases. If this is something you struggle with regularly, consider talking to a therapist about different techniques for managing stress. Alternatively, try incorporating more relaxation exercises into your pre-workout routine as a way to counteract any negative energy you might feel.
Deep breathing exercises or medication can help clear the mind and ease any worries or concerns you may have before working out. Taking just five minutes out of your day for some peace and quiet can make a world of difference when it comes to how you perform during your next workout. And if all else fails, give yourself some time post-workout to relax and de-stress; the best CBD for headache may be just what you need.
3. Physical preparation is key as well
Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes that won’t restrict your movement and allow you to breathe easily. If you’re doing a cardio workout, try bringing along some water and snacks to keep your energy up. If you’re new to working out, start by gradually adding more time or intensity each week instead of going all-out from the get-go. Design a personal fitness plan that best fits your needs and goals.
For example, if you’re new to exercising and want a light 30-minute workout on the treadmill each morning before work, that’s completely fine. It might not be as intense or productive as an actual “workout,” but it will get easier with time and consistency. If you need some motivation during those first few weeks, consider joining a class such as yoga where someone else is pushing you along. Don’t worry about taking things slow. Start by walking around the block instead of running right away. There’s no rush! Make sure to always listen to what your body tells you. Sometimes we push ourselves too hard without even realizing it.
4. Motivation and goals
There are plenty of ways you can stay focused during your workout when it comes to motivation and goals. For instance, try setting daily (or weekly) fitness milestones with specific reward systems in place for each one you achieve
You could also ask a friend or family member to join you on days when they’re free. This will not only motivate you but allow the two of you to catch up at the same time. And don’t be afraid to switch up where, when, and how often. Variety is key sometimes, so mix it up whenever possible. That could mean training outdoors every once in a while instead of always using machines indoors or finding a new type of exercise to try during your next workout.
No matter what type of exercise routine you choose, following these tips will help set you up for success. By being mentally and physically prepared, you’ll be less likely to bail on your workout last minute and more likely to see real results.