Few things are more rewarding than the feeling of accomplishment after a hard workout. Endorphins are flowing, and you’re feeling more energetic, fit, and productive. But, how do you accomplish a productive, hard workout? In reality, having a productive workout is easy to accomplish when you consider a few important things to keep you moving and think ahead to your workout. If you’re looking to get in your best workout, consult our tips below.
Hydration is crucial when planning to work out. Why? Well, when you work out, you lose water as you sweat. It’s important to replenish your body with the water it loses during a workout, and you should start before even jumping into your daily exercise. If you’re planning on working out, start hydrating as soon as you wake up. Hydrate throughout the day, during your workout, and after your workout so your body will have plenty of the liquid it needs.
The easiest way to stay hydrated is by refilling a reusable water bottle all throughout the day. For folks who work out throughout the week, a reusable water bottle is just as important as a pair of great women’s workout leggings.
Ever since you were young, it’s likely been ingrained in your head that stretching before a workout is necessary for optimal physical performance. This is even more true as you grow older and deal with things like pulled muscles, muscle weakness, and post-injury recovery. Before starting your workout, spend a few minutes stretching and warming your body up. Once your body is warm and stretched, you’ll be prepared for a productive workout. Plus, a pre-workout stretching preps your body for post-workout, too–your muscles are less likely to be sore when stretched and warmed up properly.
It’s easier to hold yourself accountable when you plan your workout. For example, if you know you're going on a one-mile walk and then practicing 20-minutes of yoga, you’ll be more likely to complete your routine. If you go into a workout with no set goal in mind, you may find yourself veering off track or ending the workout earlier than you should. Whether you’re planning an at-home strength class made up of crunches, push-ups, jumping jacks, and other go-to exercises, or a bike ride, plan out your exercise regimen for the day.
Having a pre-determined workout will also help you pick out your outfit. For a summer day spent running outside, you’ll likely want a pair of breezy athletic shorts. For an indoor spin class, you will probably want some bike shorts or sweat-wicking leggings.
Music is motivational—that's no secret. When planning a workout, plan the soundtrack too. A good soundtrack can keep you moving on a quick walk through your neighborhood or during a home Zumba class. When selecting songs, pick songs that you’ll look forward to as you make your way through a tough workout. In other words, pick your favorite songs—songs that remind you of friends or family or songs that you like to belt out in the car. Motivation is half the battle when it comes to exercise, so if there's a way to jump-start that mood, lean into it.
If music isn’t your thing, find a good podcast to listen to while you workout. It’ll help the time go by quickly and a thrilling podcast may even distract you from any discomfort you’re feeling during a long run or walk. Whatever keeps you motivated and moving is all you need—it’s up to you to decide what that is.
If you’re working out in nature, make sure you dress for the weather. Getting stuck in the middle of a rainstorm with no rain gear is not a way to make sure your workout remains productive. If there's rain in the forecast and you’re planning a hike for a workout, make sure you pack one of your women’s raincoats. If you’re going for a long run on a cold day, layer a women’s fleece jacket over your workout top. On the other hand, if you plan to be exercising in the summer heat, be sure to wear sweat-wicking layers and keep some water on you throughout your workout.
When aiming to have a productive workout, it’s important to consider your workout well before it starts. This way, you’ll have time to make sure you’re stretched, prepared, and motivated to take on your exercise regimen.