Find a workout buddy - If hiring a personal trainer just isn’t for you, having a workout buddy to help you show up to the gym can be that extra push you need. You don’t want to let your friends down - and the same goes for your body.
Look at fitness magazines - Finding visual content, even clipping images that represent your physical goals can be a great motivator to work towards. If you are a fan of Pinterest, create a board that represents all your fitness goals and remind yourself every day!
Enjoy yourself! - For some people, going to that brightly lit gym and lifting weights or running on a treadmill is demotivation in and of itself. Finding a physical activity that you enjoy - whether it’s flying solo with swimming or getting a team together with soccer - makes your workout feel less like work.
Get a personal trainer - Having a trainer gives you accountability. Not only is your body on the line, but your wallet as well. Oftentimes paying for a service makes us value and therefore prioritize it more. Having someone pushing you towards your daily goals doesn’t hurt either!
Reward yourself - Whether your reward is a short nap or a sweet smoothie, giving yourself something to look forward to once you finish a workout can be a great motivator. Eventually, you may not even need the reward!
Keep track of your progress - Whether it’s through writing lists of your decreasing weight or taking pictures of your changing body, seeing that real progress is often enough to make you want more. Some find that posting photos on a personal instagram or tumblr blog help show a timeline and be a source of inspiration.
Running is perhaps the oldest form of physical fitness. The rules have been re-written dozens of times and there are thousands of theories on what makes running the best workout. We decided to look a little further and figure out 6 things you may - but probably didn’t know about running!
1. Your morning cup of coffee actually helps you burn calories - and makes workouts seem easier! The recommended dose is 3-5mg per kilogram of body mass. Experts advise caution: caffeine can act like a drug, causing withdrawal symptoms and desensitization if taken too regularly.
2. Running with music can boost your performance up to 15% - Dr. Costas Karageorghis, author of Inside Sports Psychology, claims that aside from boosting your mood music helps to set a pace. This is easily accomplished when listening to the beat of almost any genre of music. Much like caffeine, if overused you can desensitize yourself to music and the benefits decline; two runs with music and one without is what Karageoghis recommends.
3. Lose Yourself by Eminem, is the best song to listen to while on a run - Runners-up include Thunderstruck by AC/DC and Eye of the Tiger by Survivor.
4. Your toenails can fall off - While this is more of a concern to marathon runners, it still happens and it’s still pretty gross. Marshall Ulrich, who ran across the United States in one huge ultra-marathon, actually had his toenails surgically removed. (LINK: http://www.mensfitness.com/life/sports/bizarre-facts-about-ultramarathoning)
5. It takes 200 muscles to take one step - On average, a person walks 10,000 steps in a day - runners even more! Now that’s a workout!
6. It’s never too late to start! - The oldest man to run a marathon was Fauja Singh at 101 years old. If that wasn’t enough, the now-104-year old didn’t begin training for marathons until he was 89!
The only thing holding you back is you, so get out there and go for your version of a run - whether that means 5 minutes or 5 hours!
Meditation has been proven over and over to be extremely beneficial to your health. Lowering blood pressure, easing chronic pain and anxiety, improving your mood, and boosting your immune system are just a few of the many upsides of meditation. Studies have shown that it can actually change your brain!
However, this deeply peaceful practice can be a struggle for the cluttered, busy mind. There are many ways to help you to focus in the moment and reap the benefits of proper meditation - below we have shared our top 5 ways to the most out of meditation sessions.
1. Perfect Posture - Avoid slumping and a hunched back at all costs! Keeping your spine upright and your head straight will aid in concentration. A balanced body makes for a balanced mind.
2. Leave distractions at home - Bringing thoughts of your workplace, school, presentations, and assignments will bog you down. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing that won’t pinch, pull, or distract you in any way. Keeping your mind away from these things will allow you to focus more freely.
3. Count your breathing - When you find your mind wandering to what you’re going to eat for dinner or when you’re going to call your mom, counting your breaths can bring you back into the moment. If the counting itself becomes a distraction - larger numbers such as “forty-six” or “one-hundred-and-two, simply return to “one”.
4. Turn your phone off - Besides the obvious chance of getting a phone call, email, or text message during mediation, simply the knowledge that your phone is on creates this compulsive need to check it. Turning your phone completely off (not just on silent) will help to erase this urge from your mind.
Have a positive attitude - Coming into a meditation session with negative thoughts and feelings and expecting to immediately settle into peace is an unrealistic expectation that many of us have. Resolving strong, negative emotions beforehand can help you to focus and get the most out of your session.
Hot5 Fitness - This app gives you the option to connect with real personal trainers and get customized advice that fits your needs. It also has descriptive videos that you can choose to work out to - everything from yoga to jogging to full body workouts.
Pact - If money is an incentive that keeps you motivated, this is the app for you. For every workout and healthy meal verified by GPS and photo evidence, you get money that’s given by members who didn’t reach their goals. You control how much money is on the line, but if you fail to keep up, be warned - it’ll cost you more than a lost workout.
Workout Trainer - Having a personal trainer that guides you step by step through different exercises and workouts can help many people reach their goals faster. This app gives you that opportunity, minus the dent in your wallet. It has options for in the gym or at home workouts, making it ideal for those who don’t have the time or money to spend at the gym.
JETFIT - One of the most popular fitness apps, and for good reason, Jetfit covers all the bases. It provides customisable workouts, community driven motivation, and a tracker that shows your progress. It’s flexible and free to use, making it worth the download.
Charity Miles - Walking, running, or biking - every mile you exercise earns money for charities. Ranging from 10 cents/mile for bikers and 25 cents/mile for runners, this app is one of a kind. It doesn’t offer any unique workout features, but it does help you contribute to charity in a way that only costs you a workout.
Cyclemeter - Claiming to be the most comprehensive app for cyclists out there, Cyclemeter offers a huge database of “maps, graphs, splits, intervals, laps, announcements, zones, training plans, and more”, and with the rave reviews it’s clearly worth checking out.
Pocket Yoga - Designed by yoga instructors, this app is great for yogis of all experience levels. With a comprehensive library of yoga poses and fun illustrations, Pocket Yoga is perfect for those who prefer at home yoga time without being forced to stop to remember different poses and transitions.
MyFitnessPal - Food focused and featured as the #1 Health and Fitness app for 4 years running, MyFitnessPal lives up to expectations. It holds a huge database of foods and diets and has a simple tracker that claims to be the fastest and easiest out there. Over 45,000 near-5 star ratings speak to the validity of these claims.
RockMyRun - Regardless of musical taste, this app has something for everyone. RockMyRun matches BPM (beats per minute) with your pace, improving enjoyment and motivation by up to a whopping 35%. Instead of standing around trying to find great workout songs, this app does the work for you and puts together great playlists for you to access with a quick tap.
Zombies, Run! - One of the more amusing apps, this is exactly what it sounds like. Make your run more interesting by immersing yourself in the zombie apocalypse. It could be a great motivator to run just a little bit faster than your average pace.
Shin Kicking - originating in the 1600s in Gloucestershire, this sport was practiced in the Costwold “Olimpick” Games. It is played exactly how it sounds - there are two players and each opponent attempts to kick the other’s shins until one collapses. Until the mid 1800s, contestants were allowed to wear steel-toed boots - practicing for the event involved ‘hardening’ your shins with a hammer. When it was revived in the 1950s, shin kicking required soft toed shoes and the players were allowed to stuff hay up the legs of their pants, preventing any serious injuries.
Underwater Hockey - Teams of six compete in this novelty sport. Players free-dive to the bottom of the pool and use small sticks to probe the puck into the opposing team’s net. Penalties can be appointed during the 15 minute rounds and various advantages given to the opposing team - anything from getting a timed 3 metre radius with the puck or a penalty shot. Spectating this sport is difficult and can only efficiently be done by the use of underwater cameras and live streaming broadcasts.
Wife Carrying - This is a Finnish competitive sport in which a man must carry his wife through a small obstacle course - the man who finishes first is the winner. Some of the World Championship rules include: