A Dozen Tips for Better Workouts
This post is full of tips, tools, and tricks to make your workouts more fun, so you can stay motivated, and continue to get better results. Whether your better workouts are about enjoying them more or about avoiding injury or obstacles, you’ll find something here to inspire you!
You’ll get a better grip with gloves. That’s important whether it’s hot and humid in the gym, you’re sweating, or you have a little arthritis in the hands making it hard to grip. An added bonus: they make you feel just a little more badass, and that may be just what you need for better workouts.
Years ago, my client Willa was new to weight training and seeking bone loss prevention during menopause. Her hands were slipping on weights. I gifted her a pair of weight training gloves and we never looked back.
#2 Do a Challenge
Pick something that inspires you, and something that’s intelligent. If you know the facts about muscle recovery doing the same type of exercise daily for 30 days isn’t the most advantageous for your fitness level. However, a well-planned challenge that focuses on something important to you can keep you focused.
Flipping 50 Café members have 30 different challenges to choose from and there’s a new one every month to help you in whatever area you need it most. I’m there as not only your virtual trainer but your coach to help you decide which one will be most beneficial for you right now. Are you a member?
Registration is open for the 28 Day Kickstart! Save your spot for this live coaching program and get your bonuses now.
My favorite playlists match the intensity that I am shooting for during a specific workout. Whether it’s running (step tempo) or biking (pedal stroke) I use my music beats per minute to improve form. That might mean I’m going double time, half time, or right on the tempo. If you feel yourself slipping into slow slogging and heavy steps, this is a favorite coaching trick. Here are some of my favorites for matching quick steps during intervals:
- Can’t Turn You Lose
- I Knew the Bride
- I’m Still Standing
- Brave Strangers
- Detroit Medley
- Your Love Lifts Me
- Feel like a Number
- Only the Good Die Young
One of my clients listens to spiritual music during her runs. Music is personal for sure. Try varying your music selection on your next workout if you feel like you’re no longer paying attention to it. There are workouts where that might be the goal but if you need better workouts right now try a change.
#4 Listen to a Podcast
Double dip. Catch up on something inspiring, educational , or just entertaining while you’re walking, spinning, or lifting. That’s exactly what I do weekly. I catch up on podcasts while I’m lifting weights (if I’m not shooting a video). Kinesthetic learners like me (and we all have a degree of it) retain information best when we hear it as we’re moving.
Did you know the Flipping 50 podcast was acknowledged by AARP as one of the top podcasts to listen to for over 50s?
I’ve posted some great podcasts about gut health recently on Flipping 50. You’ll find podcasts about fat loss after 50. There are podcast interviews with bestselling authors (many of whom are also flipping 50). You can search at flippingfifty.com for a topic you want or just start binge listening from iTunes right to your phone.
#5 Wear What You Love
Buy something you love yourself in. When you where something that makes you feel amazing you will be inclined to repeat it more often. You may work a little harder, a little longer, or both. Don’t skimp on shoes or bras. You can cut corners on shorts, shirts, hoodies, and socks (this is one place I make sure I have at least two awesome pair!)
Insider tip: I love Darn Tough socks. Try a pair and you’ll know why. Besides the fact they come in colors that make me smile, they last forever, keep my feet dry, and feel like a glove. The other thing I love is color. You’re not going to see me running in gray. It’s about no one else but me, and I’m a color girl. The world has enough beige and neutral.
#6 Get a Fanny Pack You Love
You’ve got to have some essentials. Keep your keys, lip balm, and cash in hot pink zippered pockets. You might as well love it. Most of them now breathe and have elastic so they’re comfortable. It’s the little things.
A Headsweats visor is an essential for outdoor workouts. It holds your hair back on windy days, or covers helmet head after a bike or harnesses it after a swim. Most importantly keeps the sun out of your eyes so you’re not wasting energy squinting.
#8 Put the Spring Back in Your Step
If you’ve got a couple flat tires under your feet, it’s time to shoe shop. If you can afford it, buy two pair of the best fit ones for your foot (it’s not based on color until it’s based on neutral, stability, or cushioned to fit your neutral, flat, or high arch). [I’m inserting my resources page – there’s the link to where I get ALL my workout shoes- for a lot less! You could say I buy in bulk.]
Buy two pair, then rotate wearing them so they get a chance to breath. Don’t double dip on your workout shoes wearing them for work all day and then workouts too. They’ll last twice as long. Invest in shoes for the task and you’ll have much more support and look forward to and have better workouts.
#9 Test Your Hormones
Self-assess (you body never lies) with a coach first. If you can’t figure out what your hormone status is right now so you can respond appropriately, test. Even if you’re working with a coach, I’ll sometimes recommend a client test because she’s been struggling to do the right thing (self-care, change workout timing or type). Seeing it on paper can help confirm your physical signs you’ve been trying to ignore.
I test regularly (6 or 12 months) depending on changes I make. Before or after a higher intensity training period, or if I am seeing signs that things have shifted and want to catch it before it’s gone too far. Better workouts are no accident, especially after 50.
#10 Refresh Breakfast
Shakes make an easy meal. If you’re trying to lighten up you’ll love the ease and the “no-brainer” my participants enjoy once they start. There’s no thinking about how to make breakfast either fit in, or be healthy. Where else can you add 2 cups of veggies, a small portion of berries, healthy fat, high fiber, and 30 grams of protein so easily that will keep you full till lunch time AND boost lean tissues … in a way that takes less than a minute?
My three-day reset includes two consecutive smoothie meals plus clean meals of delicious soups and easy-to-digest foods coupled with more mindful and less intense exercise. It’s a game-changer when you’re feeling overwhelmed with high-intensity exercise, life, or you’re not sleeping well. Most of us need to step back before we can go forward. Better workouts have better fuel.
There’s nothing like a starting line to change the way you commit to exercise. Make it big enough it makes you a little nervous and a little excited. Or make it close enough you can’t skip. Two of my clients did their first half marathon last fall. Which meant that by this time last year they were beginning to think about it and with 12 weeks to go you’ve got plenty of time (I’ve trained women for marathons in 16 weeks).
If not a race, choose an adventure that’s a commitment: an organized hike, or bike, a swim point-to-point. Flipping 50 retreat attendees have had a training schedule for the retreat weekend for two months to prepare for the hikes at altitude three days in a row. When you’re focused on something you don’t let workouts slide. When my clients know what to do when they do their workouts every week – and get results. We all need a little help putting the plan in place.
#12 Take a Lesson
From ballroom dance to golf or Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP), lessons can inspire your workouts in so many ways. Of course, the activity itself can be the workout. Say you get a running coach, weight training coach or a swim coach or join a master’s swim session; you’re bound to be out of ho-hum when someone else plans the session. But if you love the activity and it’s not necessarily a workout– dance or golf – and want to get better you may find that you start doing more consistent core or strength or yoga because it now has a greater purpose.
Just in case you’re looking for a bit more inspiration… try Fitx Talks for 10 minute inspirational chats. I’m there with 30 other experts sharing short sprints of just content no fluff.