Everyone has that one, fitness fanatic friend who legit springs out of bed first thing in the morning to hit up a cycling class, and actually enjoys it. TBH, I can barely resist slamming the snooze button to hop in the shower, let alone endure a challenging sweat sesh, so how the hell do they do it? It seems like what it really comes down to is finding ways to enjoy exercise that won't make you dread lacing up your sneakers each day.
You probably already know about all of the incredible benefits of exercising by now. From stress relief, to more energy and focus throughout your days, to improved sleep quality at night, staying active sounds like it should be a no-brainer, right? Well, in reality, it's more about the way you decide to sweat it out, and the workouts you choose to include in your routine, that will really take you from begrudgingly exercising because you know you should, to enthusiastically leaping out of bed to hit up your favorite workout class.
If you really want to fall in love with your workout routine, consider these simple tweaks to help you enjoy every second of your sweat sesh.
1. Stop Saying "Yes" To Things You Hate
Honestly, what's the point in wasting time on exercises you despise doing? Just because it's trendy, or your friends are doing it, doesn't mean that it's the best workout for you.
Once you stop saying "yes" to things you know you actually hate, your whole perspective on fitness will shift, and you'll find yourself getting super pumped to move your body in ways that you love.
2. Create A Killer Playlist
You've probably already experienced that blissful moment when your absolute jam comes on at the gym, and it makes you feel totally unstoppable as you go through your reps. According to a 2013 study, good music can make your sweat sesh more enjoyable because, to state the obvious, it can majorly boost your mood, but more importantly, it can actually help you become more self-aware and connected to the activity you're doing. So, taking the time to create a kickass playlist to complement your sweat sesh could be just what you need to spice up your workouts.
TSwift throwbacks, anyone? #SorryNotSorry.
3. Grab A Friend
If you're totally unmotivated by the thought of squeezing in your regular sweat sesh, recruiting a workout buddy might be the move for you. A partner in crime will help hold you accountable, instill some healthy competition, and make working out totally enjoyable day in and day out. Plus, they'll get your booty out of bed when you're being lazy AF.
4. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Sometimes you get into a good workout groove, and you're totally killin' it at the gym, but then a few weeks go by, and your routine gets totally boring and monotonous. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is key to spicing things up and keeping your sweat sessions from getting stagnant.
Trust me, I never thought I would try Zumba because I literally have two left feet. But when I decided to say f*ck it and give it a go, dancing it out was exactly the type of fun my "safe" workouts were lacking.
5. Track Your Progress
Whether it be the occasional selfie or a journal that you keep, tracking your progress will help to keep you motivated, even when things feel like they're getting stale. Trust me, it's so, so satisfying to literally see yourself grow week by week.
For example, maybe you started out lifting super light dumbbells a few months ago, but now, you're strong enough to move onto the heavier guys. Or perhaps your booty gains are really starting to show after slaying all those leg days.
However you decide to go about it, holding yourself accountable and detailing your progress will make the hard work feel like it was actually worth all the sweat and extra laundry you've been putting up with.
6. Take An Extra Rest Day
Rest days are super important, as your muscles, nerves, and even your bones need that time to recover properly from your gym grind. But maybe adding in an extra day of self-care or active recovery is exactly what your body and mind need to feel totally rejuvenated, repaired, and enthusiastic about your future sweat sessions.
7. Wear Your Favorite Pair Of Leggings
Dress up in your favorite pair of Lulus that literally feel like a second skin on your legs, or throw on that sexy sports bra that makes the girls look next-level good. Wear whatever it is that makes you feel the most confident, and trust me, it's bound to get you super pumped to smash that HIIT circuit you have planned.
8. Treat Yo'Self
If you're finding yourself dragging your feet to go for a run or rolling your eyes before an ab circuit, take a step back rom the grind and reward yourself for your hard work, even if it's just with something small, like a bubble bath by candlelight. A little treat could provide the mental shift you need to power through your workouts with a genuine smile.
Try swinging by your favorite coffee shop on the way home from a run, or going out to dinner with friends after a month of sticking to your exercise schedule.
After all, you show up for yourself every day, and you deserve it, girl.