21 Ways to Energize Your Workouts

Don't Overtrain

It's important to stay committed to working out regularly, but if you are hitting the gym for hours every day, you might be overtraining.

When you exercise, you create tiny tears in your muscles. When they build back up, you add muscle mass and strength. But that's not possible without adequate recovery time between tough workouts.

The cure? Take a step back from your schedule or create a rotation of muscle groups to work on throughout the week. That way, you can work out every day while still giving your body a rest.

Set Mini Goals

Dropping 20 pounds or running a 10K can be daunting, but when we set mini goals, we make progress more attainable. Try to lose five pounds or clock in 30 minutes on the treadmill; then go from there.

Accomplishing our goals keeps us moving forward and challenging ourselves to meet even bigger ones in the future -- like that marathon.

Reward Yourself

Celebrate your victories with healthy treats. Instead of going out for dinner, go out dancing. Instead of buying a new TV, buy a new elliptical.

Find a Friend

For some, working out alone can be as daunting as a yearly pap. Try exercising with a workout partner who will keep you committed and not let you cut corners.

Some women also like to chart and discuss their progress with their exercise partner. Whether your set-up is relaxed or structured, a friend can bring support and accountability to any workout plan.

Cross the Line

Ever wonder why you were in such great shape during high school? It wasn't just the revved-up metabolism. You were running track, winning medals, and being an all-around superstar. Fitness was a means to an end.

But many of us haven't really clocked in any time on the track since then. Running a race can give you a goal and, each day, your workout will be one small step in reaching it. Finishing a race can give you the passion you need to make exercise a lifestyle.

BEAT BOREDOM

Mix It Up

If you're like most women, you like routines (manicotti Mondays, sauna Sundays). But strict routines can wreck havoc on your fitness. Doing the same exercises day in and day out can bore both your muscles and your mind. When many women get bored, they just stop.

Try varying your exercise routine on a regular basis. Combine the cardio exercises, strength training, and fitness classes to stay interested.

Have Fun

No matter how many strategies you use, you won't get fit if you aren't having fun. If you don't enjoy traditional workouts, playing sports is a great way to bring back the good 'ole days of gym class.

With many gyms and studios offering cheap classes throughout the year, you can also try your skills at hip-hop dancing, yoga, kickboxing, and Pilates.

Firm your backside with butt-boosting yoga.

Jam Out

Music is a great way to make it over that last hill on the trail. But we can get in a music rut just as easily as we get ourselves into workout ruts.

Dig yourself out by changing up your exercise playlists.

Group Fitness

If you have been working out by yourself for a long time, experiencing group fitness can refresh your health and exercise outlook. Group exercise classes build a sense of community and can make you look forward to hitting the gym.

Online health support groups can also provide motivation and accountability when the going gets tough.

Change Scenery

Go outside once and a while. The white walls of your gym can get monotonous.

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