The key to improving your overall fitness level is to make working out more interesting. But that's not always easy, particularly if you live in a colder climate during the winter months and are forced to do all your working out inside. To keep you moving and, at the same time, trim, here are a few tips for maintaining motivation at the gym.
The easiest way to add flavor to your work out is to adjust your fitness schedule. If you've been doing cardio Monday-Wednesday-Friday and weight work outs Tuesday-Thursday for years, it might be time to switch things around. If your emphasis has been on cardio in the past, try reducing your running and swimming while increasing the intensity of your weight regimen. If you're not willing to tinker with your existing cardio-weight strategy, then try simply reversing the order of your work out. Start with weights rather than concluding with a run, for example.
Sometimes we get bored at the gym simply because there's no challenge involved. Unless you're incredibly self-motivated, there will be days when increasing the number of repetitions or the length of a run sounds impossible. But if there's a friend there to challenge you and push you forward, reaching unforeseen goals can be possible.
Beyond simply having a friend push you to new fitness horizons, you might also consider entering some kind of an event. Not only will this push you harder on the day of the actual race or competition, it will also serve to motivate you in the weeks (and even months) leading up to it.
Increasing your fitness level is more than physical -- it's a mental challenge, too. One of the best ways to get yourself moving is to use music to your advantage. And it's not just about picking songs you like; instead, focus on tunes that get you moving. When searching out music, place only those that increase your energy levels on that MP3 player. The kinds of music one chooses will vary widely from person to person; the key is to simply listen to a song and imagine whether or not that tune will actually increase your energy levels. Energetic songs can help get you going on mornings when pushing yourself over the top sounds virtually impossible.
It might sound crazy, but a brief break from exercise can also help revive energy levels. Also, it's worth keeping in mind that overtraining can weaken one's body and make them vulnerable to injury. If you're really hitting a wall, consider a 4-7 day break followed by a change in your regular workout routine.
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