Featured story August 22, 2013
So you skipped a few workouts, and nowanything—even shoe shopping with your girlfriend and her mom— sounds more appealing than getting back to the gym. And with the highest-stakes (shirtless-ly speaking) season having just come to a close, what’s the big deal with putting on a little extra pudge, right?
Come on. Snap out of it and get your lazy ass back on track. The longer you avoid the gym the harder it’ll be to get back into your workout routine, says Mike Gray, General Manager of UFC Gym. And truthfully, sometimes all you need to overcome the workout blues is a little switch-up in your routine. Luckily, Gray helped us put together a list of the best ways to help you start fresh. Read this…and you’ll be back at the gym in no time.
It’s really that simple. A recent study by the University of Wisconsin La Crosse Exercise and Health Program reported that listening to upbeat music while working out can reduce the perception of effort and increase endurance by 15 percent. You won’t feel like you’re working as much—meaning you’ll go longer and harder. So, whether you like listening to hip-hop, rap, techno, or pop, keeping your playlists updated is one of the major keys to steady workout motivation.
First off, any new workout is going to reboot your motivation, period. But recent research from the American Council on Exercise found boot camp workouts in particular to be the most effective fitness style. Why? Since they’re team-oriented—boot campers feel united by having to “survive” the workouts together—it pushes participants to exercise even harder.
In order to stay inspired, you want to feel like you’re getting results—so keep your objectives practical. “Setting goals is extremely important, but setting realistic goals is even more important,” says Gray. So, as much as you may aspire to get Mark Wahlberg’s pecs, just keep in mind that those puppies didn’t grow overnight. “Celebs are great eye candy, but they have loads of time and money to put into working out,” says Gray. “Look at their lifestyles before looking to them for motivation.” How can you stay inspired? Set small, attainable, performance-oriented goals specific to your abilities. Each week, tell yourself you’ll add more reps or weight to your chest press, for example—and you’ll be feelinglike Marky Mark in no time.
A study conducted at UC San Diego tracked a group of men who were put on a workout regimen of one hour of cardio done three to four times a week. After only nine months of continuous exercise, the subjects reported that their sex lives were way more satisfying—they had better stamina and orgasms. In comparison, a group of men that performed light workout routines, such as walking at a much slower pace, had no major improvement. This reason alone should get you back to the gym…and start working hard!
A study carried out by a team at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry found that people who exercise outside feel more energized and rejuvenated after their workout. Outdoors exercisers reported feeling less stressed, depressed and frustrated with the daily B.S. life brings. Plus, they reported they’d be much more likely to exercise all over again. So, instead of drinking your work frustrations away—go for a run! You can always grab a drink on your way home.
We all have our lazy days, but keeping to a consistent workout schedule today is extremely important for staying healthy tomorrow. A study by Northwestern University found that maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout young adulthood and middle age will lower the risk of cardiovascular disease as one gets older, no matter what your DNA says. So before you blame any future bad health on your grandfather—get your butt of the couch and do what you can do to take control of your body.