This article looks at five simple exercise motivation tips and fitness strategies that will help you to get the most from your workouts.
Let’s face it; getting into shape can be easier said than done. We know that if we eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy weight, we will look and feel better. We will also, potentially, extend our lifespan.
Unfortunately, putting these “rules” into practice can be difficult.
With so many websites dedicated to diet and exercise, finding a fitness strategy that works should be straightforward. However, many dieticians and personal trainers have a different take on diet and exercise, some contradictory.
If you’ve been trying out different techniques and you haven’t had much success, give the following lesser-known exercise motivation tips and fitness strategies a try.
Simple Exercise Motivation Tips and Fitness Strategies
1. Wear the right workout gear
One of the simplest yet often overlooked exercise motivation tips involves your workout clothing. The wrong exercise gear and shoes can negatively impact your workouts. The right apparel can improve performance, and therefore your result.
Even if you walk for exercise so don’t think you need to buy gym gear; what you wear can make a huge difference. For example, if you walk wearing skinny jeans, your gait will be constricted, and you will be uncomfortable, particularly when the mercury is high. Wear sandals or ill-fitting shoes, and you could sustain an injury.
On the other hand, comfortable, breathable activewear will allow you to move freely. And supportive shoes that suit your pronation type will make your sessions more comfortable and help to protect you from injury. You don’t need to buy spandex, and you don’t have to spend a fortune, but having the right gear can be a motivation in itself for some people.
The color of your shoes and clothing is also worth considering. Research has shown that bright colors are energizing. Choosing exercise gear in a cheerful color can help you to push yourself that little bit harder, get more out of your sessions, and ultimately reach your fitness goals faster.
So ditch that black, grey, and white workout gear, and opt for bright blue, green, yellow, red, orange, violet, hot pink, or any other uplifting color that takes your fancy.
2. Use essential oils
Some recent studies have shown that incorporating essential oils into your pre and post-workout routine can positively impact your performance and help you relax and recover faster afterward.
Essential oils to try pre-workout include peppermint or eucalyptus, both of which can help to increase energy.
Marjoram can help to relax tight muscles before or after exercising.
Lemongrass can be used to massage and bring relief to overworked muscles.
Experiment with different essential oils to find those that work best for you.
At night, I use lavender essential oil. This is particularly effective the night before early morning workouts. It relaxes me, and I sleep better. I also seem to wake up more refreshed so I can put extra effort into my workouts. The essential oil I use is from Handcraft.
If you don’t want to apply the oils to your skin, a diffuser will allow you to enjoy their benefits. The one I use is from Vitruvi. It’s available in a choice of five different colored stone-like finishes – I bought the charcoal one. It has a night light, I can run the diffuser all night without it keeping me awake, and it diffuses over a wide area.
For more info on the lavender oil or the diffuser referenced above, click on the relevant link to visit Amazon’s website.
NB: Essentials oils are concentrated, and they can cause an allergic reaction. To prevent this, dilute the essential oil in grapeseed oil or water before use.
3. Meditate before your workouts
Meditation can help you to identify your fitness goals and hone in on them with laser precision.
Meditating for a few minutes as you do your Warm-Up stretches will help you forget the stressors in your life and focus on strengthening your body.
Meditation also requires you to focus on your breathing. With better breath support, you won’t be easily winded when you work out. You’ll be able to run faster, lift heavier weights, and accomplish fitness goals that have previously been out of reach.
4. Work on your posture
You may be wondering what a section on posture is doing in an article on exercise motivation tips and fitness strategies.
We rarely think about our posture until we experience back pain or see ourselves in an unflattering photo.
If you haven’t been exercising for very long, your body probably has some strength imbalances. For example, the muscles in your back might be stronger than your chest muscles. Correcting your posture will enable you to address this.
With better posture, you will look slimmer and younger. You will breathe easier and deeper. As a result, you will be able to exercise more efficiently and for longer, and therefore you will reach your fitness goals faster.
Good posture will also allow you to target specific muscles more precisely, so you will get more benefit from your workouts and minimize the risk of injury caused by using improper form.
There are a number of stretches and exercises that can help to improve posture when undertaken regularly. The ones below are among my favorites.
The last of my exercise motivation tips involves snacks. Now you are probably wondering what snacks have to do with fitness strategies. Read on, and it will make sense.
It’s common to assume that we must forgo snacking if we want to lose weight. In recent years, however, some studies have shown that pre-fueling with a light snack 30 to 60 minutes before working out can help you have a more productive workout session. And a post-workout snack can assist with recovery. The snacks you choose, of course, play a vital role in this.
So what kinds of snacks should you be eating?
A banana is one of the best pre-workout snacks you can have. Along with providing potassium, it will boost your blood sugar levels and increase your body’s glycogen stores.
A low-fat snack containing protein and simple carbs is another good pre or post-workout snack. While some people avoid carbs, they are essential for good health, and the right ones will enhance your sporting performance.
Protein promotes muscular development and repair, and carbs supply energy. Foods containing either or both are useful before and after working out. With this in mind, a rice cracker topped with nut butter or a small serving of plain yogurt with fresh berries would be an excellent pre or post-workout snack. A small protein shake is another alternative.
NB Be sure to consider the number of calories in your snacks and adjust your meal portions to compensate. This is especially important if you are trying to lose weight. If your snacks contain more calories than the energy your workout expends, you could end up gaining weight instead of losing it.
Avoid eating high-fat foods before working out, as they can make you feel sluggish. They can also cause digestive upsets in some people.
Exercise Motivation Tips and Fitness Strategies Summary
If the exercise motivation tips and fitness strategies you’ve tried so far aren’t helping you get into shape, why not try something different?
The suggestions on this page may not work for everyone, but they will make a big difference for some people, so give them a try. They could just be the missing link that will help you improve your shape and build a stronger and healthier body.
You may also like to read How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise at Home – 12 Actionable Tips.