In addition to busting your butt at the gym, there might be a few other things stopping you from getting the best workout you can get! Here are 5 non-fitness tips to help you get the most out of your workout.

  1. Leave your smartphone distractions at home: My gym time, is my time. I don’t want to be writing or checking email, posting a FB status, checking Instagram or taking phone calls during my workouts. While I do use my iPhone as my music source (which most people do), I make sure that it strictly stays on the music app and I don’t spend an extra 10 minutes checking email when I could have been working out.
  2. Working out with friends: Working out with friends can go two ways: you motivate each other to get a really great workout or you spend 90% of your time talking. I love working out with some of my friends – as I just wrote about in a recent post – but we make sure that we get our workout done. I was at the gym the other day and I saw these two women that basically talked for 50 minutes and worked out for about 10 minutes. If I had hours and hours to spend at the gym sure, but usually I have a little over an hour to workout then I’ve got to leave to get ready for work.
  3. Plan your workout ahead of time: I like to have somewhat of an idea of what I’m going to do during my workout before I walk into the gym. Am I running, doing a circuit, riding the bike, lifting…it helps to have it somewhat planned out. If you don’t, then jump on the treadmill for a quick 10 minute warm up walk to get your thoughts together.
  4. Wear clothes you feel comfortable in: The worst thing you can do is wear something that is too tight or too big for you, and you feel uncomfortable working out. Nothing distracts you more than when you keep adjusting your clothes while trying to run, lift weights, etc. I use to wear stretch pants that were too big for me (even though I though they fit when I bought them). When you are buying clothes for the gym do a few squats or jumps to see if they are the right fit.
  5. Ice even when it doesn’t hurt: I sometimes suffer from lower back pain, which usually gets worse after working out. Even on the rare occasion I work out and don’t have any back pain, I usually will ice my back just in case. My recommendation is to always ice a particular weak spot of yours after working out – knee, back, shoulder, hip, etc. This will reduce pain and swelling in the future. No more than 15 minutes with the ice pack though!

Fun Fact of the Day: Did you know Spotify offers a feature called “Running” where it plays music that matches your running and/or workout? Pretty cool!