Exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle, which is why you need to hit the gym as much as physically possible. However, sometimes your body isn’t able to keep up with the demands of a workout schedule. The muscles need to rest if they are going to grow and become more efficient. Working them to the bone will only succeed in making them tired and unproductive.
Anyone who is on a health kick won’t like the idea of a rest day. Sure, it means you don’t have to work your body at the gym, but it also indicates you feel inactive. And when you feel lazy, the diet may feel like it isn’t worth the hassle. Balance is key if you are going to work out hard and take days off in between.
Here are eight hacks that will help you to get off the couch. Afterwards, you can collapse onto it until the next time!
Get Your Exercise On!
1. Use A Stepping Stone
The suggestion here is that you get your body into the right frame of mind. Exercising more often is about being mentally ready to hit the treadmill, lift weights or pound the pavement. A brain that isn’t positively ready for the task will keep you on the sofa all night long and that is an imbalance.
Simply stretching before exercise will plant the seed that you are about to work out hard. Also, limber muscles feel less rigid if you do some light stretching first which makes the prospect of training less daunting.
2. Turn Up The Volume
If stretching seems blah, try an upbeat alternative. Music has, and always will, get people out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. As soon as the feet start to tap, there is no denying the vibes running through your body. The trick is to play songs that are upbeat and make you feel like being active.
In the same way that a banging tune gets joggers up steep hills, they get unmotivated men and women in the groove too. Only you know what playlists are mood setters, but you can’t go wrong with Prodigy. For those who don’t like hardcore dance, try something with a nice beat. Beyonce, the queen bee, has been the reason for many a health transformation.
3. Get Into A Routine
Everyone has been in a situation where working out is the main goal for the evening. Sadly, four episodes of Game of Thrones later and it’s time for bed. Apart from wondering where the night went, you should also feel guilty about skipping exercise. Yep, the TV is a seductive mistress, but she’ll still be there when you get back from an intense training session.
A routine is crucial if you are going to find a healthy balance as it encourages you to get out of the house. If you leave earlier than later, that’s probably for the best. To help, there are numerous apps that can set an exercise reminder. At the moment, Move is among the most popular with people trying to stick to New Year’s resolutions.
4. Think About The Boy Scouts
What on earth do Robert Baden-Powell and his posse have to do with working out? Well, their motto is ‘always be prepared’, and that’s a great attitude to have from morning to night. A routine is an excellent way to hit your goals, but you shouldn’t be inflexible. There are times when you can fit in a training session without following a schedule and you should do it.
The only reason we seem to have to develop a timetable is that there aren’t enough hours in a day. Thanks to work and errands, it can feel as if you only have a small window to exercise. When your day opens up, you can get it out of the way and enjoy an evening of free time instead of sweating at the gym. To do this, keep a set of workout clothes with you at all times. Whether in a bag or the trunk of the car, you can take advantage of a break by exercising.
5. Tell A Friend
As soon as you open your mouth, it becomes real. Friends will ask ‘how’s the training going?’ and you don’t want to say ‘it’s not!’ This technique mixes guilt with the human ego to encourage you to get your butt into action.
Let’s face it – no one wants to look silly. By telling your friends about your new health regimen, you could be the class clown if you don’t stick to the script. But, don’t assume that the pressure is negative because it’s positive. After all, improving your lifestyle isn’t a bad thing whatsoever. Plus, even if you do fail, your friends won’t remember forever. Sure, they will tease you for a while and then move on. Deep down, they’ll be proud that you tried because everyone knows how difficult it is to get fit.
6. Dominate DOMS
First of all, DOMS stands for the Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. Quite simply, the condition is a range of tiny tears in the muscles that occur after a session of working out. Don’t worry, it won’t lead to a massive break or a major injury. What will do, though, is make you feel as if working out is too much hassle.
The little rips are the causes of chronic stiffness, like the kind that makes it hard to roll out of bed. Stretching helps because it increases blood flow, but protein is the main equalizer. In fact, EPA, DHA and ALA are Omega-3 fatty acids which are nutrients that you need to eat to beat muscle soreness.
Western diets are notoriously bad for omitting all three, which is why it’s great to eat fish and other superfoods. Kale and spinach may look and sound unappetizing to some, but they are packed with vital proteins and vitamins. Drinking a creatine shake is another way to repair muscle damage and get back in the game.
7. Don’t Block Out White Noise
Every home has background noise, and it’s tempting to block it out. You don’t want to do this because the right white noise can be helpful. Consider the TV for a moment. Do you like to leave it on to add to the atmosphere? If so, forget about NBC and HBO and flip through to the workout programs.
Listening and watching experts talk about how to be healthy will make exercise the main topic of the day. And then there’s the fact that you can perform their routines in the luxury of your house. When the weather is bad, you probably don’t want to leave the sanctuary of the living room. You don’t have to if you stretch or do some yoga instead.
8. Set Up A Rewards System
Some people say that helping your body should be all the reward you need. Don’t listen to them because the human brain doesn’t work that way. Right or wrong, people are wired to want material things, and you should keep that in mind.
Promising yourself a treat will be all the motivation you need to keep going. It might be something like a piece of chocolate or takeout food at the weekend. Yep, one cheat day a week is a healthy thing, people! Or, you could save up and book a vacation in the not-too-distant future.
Hopefully, these hacks will help you find a perfect lifestyle balance.
– Marsha 💋