10 Mental Tricks for a More Effective Workout

mental energy

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When you talk to people about their exercise routine, it seems like everyone has their own way of doing it. Some people like to work out in the morning, others in the evenings, some like to run, others prefer yoga, or swimming. Sometimes it seems like others only care about having the latest, most expensive workout clothes, but, whatever floats your boat.

Have you ever thought about what role your mind plays in the exercises you do? Some people will spend months doing online research on the best pair of running shoes or a new bicycle, but what is our mind supposed to do while we are exercising? If we don’t engage and train our minds, we will never reach our full exercising potential.

If you truly want your exercise to be its most effective, then achieving a balance in our minds is of vital importance. When you achieve this, your workouts will naturally become fun, effective, and something you look forward to, instead of avoiding.

Our minds tend to be cluttered by a constant stream of thoughts, everything from the news program playing on the television, to our work project, even weekend plans. But when you step back from those thoughts, and create a bit of space in your mind, you will see that it’s easier to become aware of the moment and focus on the exercise you are doing. This is called mindfulness; that mental balance that’s so important to everyone who wants results from their workout, from Olympic hopefuls to the guy on the treadmill next to you, and, of course, you!

To gain true mental balance we must practice mindfulness. It gives us a lack of distraction and a clarity that will give you confidence whenever you move, no matter what exercise you are doing.

For example, imagine swimming, but this time, mindfully. You focus on perfecting every single stroke with the best timing, effort and all of this is done with ease. Your results from doing 50 lengths in this manner will be superior to just swimming up and down the pool, wondering what the heck you are going to wear to Cindy’s dinner party Saturday.

When we work out mindfully, we give our exercise the attention it deserves. Doing this will give you the ultimate in the way of results.

Want to try mindful exercise? Try these top 10 tips for improving your mental balance.


1.  Learn meditation.

So you can truly sharpen your focus as well as relax your mind. Find out 7 charkas for beginners.


2. Set realistic, doable goals.

Break it down into small steps and before you know it, you will be on your way to successfully reaching your exercise goals.


3. Understand your motivation.

What do you expect to get out of your workout? What do you want from it? Why are you exercising? Once you understand these things, you will be much more likely to achieve those goals.


4. Your new mantra: Think less, do more.

Remember to keep your focus on the present. When you find you mind wandering, let go of those thoughts and bring yourself back to the present task. You will find you have a more productive work out if you focus on the exercise at hand, not on the blonde in the next lane. Read more about ways to cope with anxiety that make it worse.

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Photo credit: bigstock

5. Make a new habit.

Everyone knows that the same place, same time is an important part of forming a habit. For example, going to bed at 9, getting up at 6. Do this regularly enough and you won’t need your alarm clock after a while. Why not try the same thing with exercise? Find a day and a time that works for you so your body begins to “expect” or look forward to its workout habit.


SEE ALSO: 12 Things Everyone Should Do More Often

6. Use that imagination.

When you imagine your workout in your mind, it’s been proven to give you quicker results and improve your confidence. Olympic athletes and professionals have done this for years, so why not join them?


7.  Habits are great.

But be flexible, too. Sometimes, things don’t always go as planned. If you have to miss a workout day, or find you need to change the time for a period of time (you can’t miss your daughters Christmas play!), just accept it and move on. The world won’t end because you had to implement a little change now and then.  Be flexible and keep your priorities straight.


8. Integrate fitness into your life.

If you can ride your bike to work, even if it’s just one or two days a week, then do so! Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Park your car at the farthest end of the parking lot and walk to the store or to your office. These are little things, but it adds up.


9. Have fun

Most exercise is inherently fun, so don’t push yourself so hard that you forget this. If your workouts feels like, well, work, then maybe it’s time to switch it up and do something else. Your workout should be something you look forward to, not something you dread.


10.  Congratulate yourself.

You should feel good, inside, after every workout. Give yourself credit for being good to your body. This should calm your mind and make you feel more content. All this effort is worth the results and when you exercise mindfully, your workouts will become more effective as well as more fun.