Starting a workout plan is a really hard thing to do. Combining it with school or work, the lack of time, the bad habits to get rid of, and the fact that you actually have to get out of your bed or the couch is simply hard. I know the struggle is real! But there is absolutely no excuse for not taking care of your body. But because we all know it is not easy to workout, here are some hacks you need to include to your daily routine to make it so much easier.
Still not convinced that you need to take care of yourself and our health? My blogpost I can and I will, will for sure inspired you to take that leap of faith.
Get a coach app
Without any doubt this is one of the best ways to workout and not spend a crazy amount of money. Not everyone can afford going to the gym and paying for an instructor at the beginning. Coaching apps are really good to start getting in shape without paying a lot. Besides there are many other benefits that you can enjoy by using them. Not only do you get notifications on when you need to go out and work out but you get encouragement, you can share your data with friends, get feedback and have all of it always in your pocket. All of that completely personalised, even your power songs. I talk about all of my favourite healths apps in one of my blogposts.
Choose the right playlist
When working out I always carry a good playlist with me. If you are going out for a run to loose weigh or to blow off some steam, you need to choose the right music. An excellent idea is to choose songs that are more than 120 beats per minute, they help you run at a steady pace and they get your blood flowing the way it’s supposed to. Many apps like Spotify have great playlists and you can explore them by mood, genre or artist. If you don’t like music or working out that much, make it more interesting by listening to a podcast or an audiobook. There are infinite number of platforms to do this and it turns out you can learn something new or relax by just listening to a book, a familiar voice or a great radio program.
Mix and Match workouts
Don’t do just one thing. Specially if you don’t like to work out. You need to build up a routine that keeps things interesting so you don’t get bored fast. I usually like to do different things and combine them. For example when it’s raining of it’s winter I like to stay at home and follow some pilates videos and combine them with ballet beautiful. When the sun is shinning and the weather is a bit warmer I love to go out for a run. The key here is to find out what you like and trying to keep making it interesting and challenging, otherwise it is never going to work. I also wrote about my favourite workout videos on a blogpost, if you don’t know with what to mix your workout here is some inspiration to workout from home.
Not everybody is born an athlete and the most difficult thing about working out is to not stop doing it. Perseverance is key, but truly difficult specially when combining it with uni, school, your job or a family. But it is not impossible. In my younger years my favorite extracurriculars were sports. I used to be part of many sport team, and I enjoyed every moment of it, but it wasn’t easy. The one thing I learned is that you need to push yourself and take on challenges, but when you are feeling down you need that extra push. That is how I encountered this tip, motivational quotes. Pinterest is filled with them and so is the internet. Place them everywhere! On your room, mirror, water bottle and even as a screensaver. They’ll always keep you going.
Planning, planning, planning
You may never use the excuse I don’t have time. There is always time, specially for your health. The true secret is to keep up a good planning and make sacrifices. Plan your workouts at least three times a week for the whole moth, that way you have them already there before anything comes up. Respect that you placed them there and don’t start postponing them or changing them because we all know that means you’ll never do it. If you don’t like waking up early or going directly after class, try to alternate some in the morning and some in the evening. Be flexible but also very realistic. Trust me you and me both know that getting out of bed at 4.30am is definitely not going to happen. But remember many studies say that 8 hours of sleep are enough and that early birds are smarter and have less stress in their lives. So I bet 6.30 am is not so bad.
Choose your outfit the night before
Still afraid you might backdown on the last minute? Force yourself by putting your clothes out the night before. Get up and remember yourself you are going to feel better about it when you are done. The night before chose your outfit and lay it out somewhere. That creates not only a helpful habit but a sort of obligation from yourself that you are going to work out when you wake up. Decide it and make it happen.
A sweet reward (pre- and post-run snacks)
This is probably one of the best tips I can give you. I mean many psychologists in time experimented with animals and forced them habits by using the reward theory. As you all know we are not so different from animals ourselves, and boy we do love a reward. That’s why you can use the pre- and post-workout snacks. Treat yourself with some delicious snacks after you’ve worked out. Not only will your body thank you for it but you’ll be exited to get it done to eat. There are plenty of healthy options you just have to google pre- and post-run snacks to choose the appropriate ones. Of course, keep in mind that they need to be healthy, not a BigMac. But who doesn’t love a colorful Açai Bowl or some unsweetened peanut butter toast?
Accept a challenge
Work towards a goal. If you set a finish line and trace steps to reach it, working out becomes much easier. Don’t label your work out as a way of getting rid of those extra kilos but as a path towards a goal. Of course loosing weight and living a healthier life are awesome goals but taking challenge is way better. For example inscribe yourself in a 5K run or in the beginner level of a yoga class. That way the better you get at it the easier it will be to go out and work out. Because seeing progress on the amount of kilometers or seconds you can hold a plank for, is easier and healthier to measure than centimeters around your waist.
Don’t watch the clock
Don’t become obsessed. Give yourself the time to work out and respect that. Be realistic when you plan your workouts so you don’t have to be stressed about it. The more you watch the clock the more stressed you’ll feel, the longer the run will seam to be and you’ll get easily tired. Your work out is meant to be your me-time. Use it to work on yourself and be relaxed. Don’t look at the clock so often.
Respect your 8 hours of sleep, and I think this is something you need to respect even on the nights when you are not working out. Sleep is very important for your physical but also mental health. Your body need its down time to recover from the day and rest, and so does your mind. No one can lead a healthy life on a 4 hours of sleep basis. Remember there is never “no time” but bad planning. Plan away!
Water is so important in your life. The benefits are uncountable and of course very much needed if your are exercising. But we all have to admit we don’t even know if we reach the 5 glasses per day. Try to track your water intake. There are a lot of apps that help you with this. Take huge water bottles to work or school. Try not to drink so many soda’s and sugar based drinks that are absolutely no good for you and accompany your meals with water. It has been already 3 years that I haven’t drunk any sugar based drink or soda and I neither regret it nor need them. The key to create good habits is taking the step and making the decision.
Too much? Alternate running and walking (Buzzfeed 5K in a month program)
Of course being able to run a marathon is a skill you won’t get in a week. Take step by step. Listen to your body and what he is capable of doing but also what he’s not. Take it easy on him. Start alternating running with walking in 15min workouts and build it up. Buzzfeed had a really good program and campaign you could follow to build up your first 5k in a month with amazing tips and tricks for beginners. If you are looking to start to work out and lead a healthier life this is for sure a good program to check out. Still not convinced? Check Buzzfeed’s post about it.