BODY: 5 Ways to Enhance Your Workout
The saying "don't work hard, work smart" is a mantra that rings true for many things, including your fitness goals. If you've been putting in the hours at the gym but have yet to see any changes on the scale or in your own strength, don't fret — there's nothing wrong with your body. However, there might be something you can do to improve the way you approach your training and motivate yourself further. If this sounds like you, here are some tips to enhance your workout.
Have a plan
No two bodies are completely the same. So while it's tempting to copy your favorite celebrity's detox diet and fitness routine down to a tee, don't be surprised if it doesn't give you the same results. Your best bet is to figure out your own goals and train accordingly. That might sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people's routines don't align with their objectives. For example, you might want to tone up, but all you do is cardio when you should be doing strength training. So build a plan that caters to your needs and stick to it. Don't just aimlessly wander around the gym looking for any kind of burn.
Crank up the music
According to the National Center for Health Research, music doesn't just relieve boredom. It can also improve the quality of your workout by putting you in a better mood. What's more is that some sounds can engage certain networks in your brain that allow your muscle groups to sync with the music. It's worth investing in a pair of earphones that can keep you in the zone as you workout. Jabra's Elite Active 65T ranks as the best earphones for running and the gym, thanks to their wireless fit, sound isolation, and decent battery life. And while you're at it, give the Best Body Ever playlist a listen here!
Wear the right clothes
To "dress for success" doesn't just apply to work. At the gym, high quality fabrics work as hard as you do to accelerate your performance. Your oversized cotton shirt from high school probably won't withstand rigorous training. And when it comes to doing your best, comfort is the key. Choose leggings, tops, and shirts in soft fabrics that allow maximum breathability. They should also be durable enough to see you through your squat session or an hour-long Vinyasa practice. However, if you're the type to workout outdoors, it may be best to layer up so temperature drops don't get in the way. Woman Within's hooded jackets will help you survive those chilly morning jogs, while still providing you enough room for movement. Plus, they're easy to throw on and off at any point if it gets too warm. Pair it with LNDR'S trusty sports bras, which feature chic designs and antibacterial fibers to wick away the cold sweat.
Stick to quality over quantity
Just because you aren't loading up on your weights doesn't mean you aren't hard at work. So grab that two- or three-pounder if that's what you're comfortable with (for now), because a 2012 study by researchers from McMaster University confirms that using light weights can be just as effective. The trick is to focus on your repetitions until you reach muscle fatigue, which will eventually lead to the same muscle building as lifting heavy. Don't forget to master your form, too, which is equally important in avoiding injuries.
No, hitting the gym every single day doesn't speed up your goals. Ultimately, all your hard work needs to be complemented by rest to give your muscles ample time for recovery. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for muscle damage. It doesn't have to be an elaborate trip to your massage therapist every time, but it does pay to get acquainted with a foam roller and learn some proper stretching techniques.