So I was talking with a runner friend of mine the other day. We were just discussing the results we've been seeing, and comparing our different approaches to working out. We definitely go about running in different ways, and that got me thinking about all the tings I've learned since I started working out on a regular basis. These tips that I'm about to share are really personal....meaning I can give you the basis, but you're going to have to experiment to find what works best for you. But I have found them really helpful in making my workouts feel less like, well, work.
Tip No. 1-Find music to suit your workout
I'm not much of a music listener when I'm working out, except when I run outside...and that week and a half I tried jumping rope. But I know a LOT of people like to listen to music, and I think the right music can really motivate you. When I run outside, I like to listen to really upbeat songs, either in the swing/big band genre or some rock and roll. Obviously, you have your own music style, which is why these tips are so personal. When I was jumping rope, I had "Eye of the Tiger" on replay!
I've seen blogs and websites with lists of songs that are a perfect "running" pace. Most of those lists are also formulated so that if you play all the songs without skipping, you get a full workout, so it helps you to work out longer. You just turn on your music, and don't stop 'till it does.
Now, I know running isn't for everyone, but these upbeat songs can work for any workout. I am a runner, so I can speak from experience that the right song can make me run like the wind! But save those slow songs for the cool down/stretch section, because the last thing you want is a lull in your workout.
Tip No. 2-Get distracted.
No, seriously! If you're working out at home, by all means do it in front of the tv, I'm not gonna judge! In fact, watching a movie while you exercise could me the distraction you need. I don't know about you, but I tend to count the seconds until I can be done...which of course makes my workout seem like a thousand years longer than it actually is. Not only is that WAY depressing, it makes it really easy to talk yourself out of finishing....I mean, I HAVE to have done like an hour already, right?!
Like everything else, I've had to put a lot of thought into what I watch. When I run, I really like to watch musicals. I'm totally jogging like a mad woman and singing my heart out....not an easy feat, I'll tell you, and my mom laughs at me because I usually sound like a beached whale. But I don't care. I'm enjoying myself! And this is where this tip becomes personalized: My friend likes to watch action movies like "Transformers" while she runs. She says she does her best running when the characters are running or doing something action-ey as well. She says she feels like she's part of the movie, and being chased by aliens is apparently a good motivator to keep running!
When I'm doing strength training, however, I can't watch musicals, because I want to sing along. If you think running and singing is hard, try doing crunches and singing! Then post it on youtube and tell me about it because I MUST see that! LOL
I use my "quiet" workouts to watch shows like Dr. Who. I personally love watching this show during strength training because it's got a really complicated story line, and it's a british show, and therefore a little harder to understand, so I have to concentrate on what they're saying. All that concentration really takes my mind off those crunches! This doesn't happen very often, but I have been known to put on a movie and just spend the whole time doing some sort of exercise. That's a bit extreme, but I was in the mood. The point is, thinking about what you're watching takes your mind off of less interesting things, like how not-fun working out is.
Tip No. 3-Would eating help?
This is my mom's answer to everything I think. Whenever I have a complaint, either about a headache or a stomach ache, the first thing she says is "well, did you eat?"
But that has nothing to do with this tip :) Going back to my friend, we were talking about eating before a workout. She has to eat before she runs, or she'll get sick. Me, I'm the opposite. If I eat, I have to wait like an hour before I can run, or I will get sick. I don't usually have time to wait an hour before my workout. Therefore, it kind of defeats the purpose for me to eat before I run, so I don't.
Everyone's different, so really all you can do is experiment. Experiment with what you eat, how much you eat, and how long you need to wait before you begin your workout.
These tips were things I kind of figured out for myself. They may not seem like revelations to some of you, but they were things I wish someone had told me about when I was starting out.