Maintaining that commitment to workout several times a week can be hard. Make it easier by building positive reinforcement into your workouts that inspire you to keep going back to your routine. Here are three tips to improve your workout and keep you coming back for more.
Surround Yourself with Motivation
You need a combination of long-term and short-term motivation to keep your head in the game. What are your future goals? Do you want to climb Mount Rainier in Washington? Look fabulous at an upcoming event? Complete a triathlon with someone you love? Whatever your goal, surround your workout area or load up your phone with slideshows of pictures to keep your dream present in your mind while you work out.
In the short term, an adrenaline rush can provide a range of workout benefits and can even make the time pass more quickly. Many experts say that periodic bursts of high intensity activity can improve your workout regimen. Queue up your favorite action scene or a YouTube video of something that pumps you up to motivate your movement.
At the end of every workout, make sure you congratulate yourself for a job well done; every workout you complete is a show of self-respect and self-care. We are often quick to criticize ourselves for our faults but not as quick to recognize achievements, so make it a habit of mentally patting yourself on the back after each and every workout for consistent positive reinforcement and motivation to continue.
Release the …Endorphins!
Increased physical activity can affect levels of various hormones including endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. These hormones create everything from a subtle positive mood to feelings similar to euphoria. To enhance this effect, you can combine your workout with things such as aromatherapy scents including lavender or vanilla, or other scents that make you feel happy.
Herbal remedies like ginseng have also been shown to improve body chemistry, and herbal supplements such as Gabatrol can have a major impact on your mood before, during, and after your workout. When we do things that make us feel happy, we want to do those things more and more often, so maximizing this trend during your workout will make the next one that much easier to complete.
Ahhhh… the Post-Workout Stretch
It can be tempting to let your mind start churning through what you’ll do and where you’ll go next while you complete your post-workout stretch. Or you might feel so busy you skip the stretch altogether, but this is just as important a part of your health regimen as the workout itself. Putting more emphasis on the post-workout stretch can continue to boost body chemistry, improve flexibility, and help your muscles recover. This is the perfect time to practice gratitude, thanking yourself for expending the effort necessary to get or stay in shape, and getting your mind as deeply involved as your body can have a profound impact on overall well-being.
Switching to peaceful music to change the mood can help you relax and sink into your stretches. Moving your mind back to your goals and how you just came one step closer to achieving them is another piece of positive reinforcement that will make you feel better about yourself and your body. It wards off the potential return of stress that may come from contemplating a busy day ahead.
Falling into the rut of habit or losing sight of our goals is easy. Engaging your mind along with your body can help you focus on the big picture while feeling great from the inside out, which is the best motivation of all.